New £166m Highlands wind farm to create 60 new jobs – with another 50 energy developments in Scots pipeline

wind_farmScottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has granted planning consent for a major new wind farm in the Highlands.

The Bhlaraidh wind farm, which will be developed by Scottish & Southern Energy Generation will have 32 turbines with a generating capacity of up to 108MW.

The farm, about two miles north-west of Invermoriston, could power the equivalent of approximately 50,000 local homes.

A ‘significant number’ of jobs will be created during the construction phase, which will cost an estimated £166.3 million. The ongoing operations and maintenance of the project is expected to support the equivalent of 60 jobs in Scotland, more than half of which will be based in the Highlands.

The project will provide approximately £13 million over 25 years for community benefit projects, including a sustainable energy fund and skills and training initiatives.

In addition, SSE is working with partners on a Development Initiative for the Great Glen (DIGG) to maximise the social, economic and community benefits of renewable energy investment in the Great Glen over the coming decade.

Ewing said: “The Bhlaraidh wind farm will create jobs both in its construction and during its lifetime, and once up and running will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. With this wind farm we will now be able to produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 50,900 homes.

“Wind farms like this provide considerable benefits to their local community, and play an important part in helping Scotland reach its target of the equivalent of 100% of electricity demand generated from renewables.

“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 any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape, as well as being considered environmentally acceptable.”

Fergus Ewing, MSP, Scottish Energy Minister

Fergus Ewing, MSP, Scottish Energy Minister

 

Since 2007, the Scottish Government has determined 89 energy applications – including consent for 60 renewable applications: 34 onshore wind, 1 offshore wind, 19 hydro, 4 wave and tidal and 2 Renewable Thermal Plant; and 19 non-renewable projects.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents and Deployment Unit is currently considering another 56 applications of >50MW capacity generating stations, including 52 onshore wind applications, 1 renewable hydro application, 1 non-renewable hydro applications and two renewable thermal applications.

In addition to this, there are 13 active applications for overhead lines, and an application for a Water Rights Order for a new hydro-electric power station in Argyll.

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