APPROVAL has been given to Corriegarth Wind Farm, in Highland Council Area, which will have 23 turbines and a generating capacity of up to 70MW.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has granted consent for the development, applied for by NBW Wind Energy Ltd, which effectively replaces the existing planning permission granted by Highland Council for a 50MW, 20 turbine wind farm on the same site.
It is estimated that Corriegarth Wind Farm would power 33,000 homes.
During the construction period, local and national employers are expected to be encouraged to compete for contracts for the manufacture and supply of turbines, as well as contracts for construction, operation and maintenance work on the wind farm. Stone for the construction of turbine bases would be locally sourced, creating indirect economic benefit to the local area.
The developer has estimated it will create 245 jobs during the construction phase. During the operational phase, the applicant estimates four to five full time jobs could be created to undertake regular maintenance work.
NBW Wind Energy Ltd has indicated that the community benefit fund will provide approximately £100,000 per annum to support local projects.
Mr Ewing said, “The Corriegarth Wind Farm will create a number of jobs, as well as generating power for many thousands of homes and provide considerable benefits to the local community. The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places, and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of renewables projects should reflect the scale and character of the landscape, as well as being considered environmentally acceptable.
“We remain committed to growing renewables and the latest statistics – published this week – show we have almost met our 50 per cent renewable electricity target a year ahead of schedule. I am pleased renewable electricity generation continues to go from strength to strength in Scotland.”