Renewable energy developer RES has submitted a planning application for Aberarder Wind Farm, near Croachy, Inverness-shire.
And it has appointed local contractor Luce Bay Plant Hire – a family-run contractor based at Dunragit – to build its new Glenchamber wind farm, situated between Glenluce, New Luce and Kirkcowan in Dumfries and Galloway.
The proposed Highlands wind farm, next to the already-approved Dunmaglass Wind Farm, is for 12 turbines with a maximum height to tip of 130m, which could have a total installed capacity of 36 megawatts (MW).
The plans have been submitted to Highlands Council following a period of consultation last year with the local community, which included public exhibitions in Stratherrick, Strathnairn and Strathdearn.
In 2013, RES carried out road improvements to the B851 in preparation for the construction of the Dunmaglass Wind Farm which included widening to two lanes in multiple areas, new passing places and the replacement of Littlemill Bridge.
John Appleton, RES Development Manager, said: “Our application for Aberarder Wind Farm is a result of extensive consultation and assessments. At public exhibitions we were able to demonstrate that the sensitively designed layout ensures that the turbines sit predominantly within the visual envelope of Dunmaglass wind farm.”
“If approved, Aberarder wind farm could generate £3.3 million for the local economy in the construction phase and the first year of operation, as well as paying more than £500,000 a year in business rates.
“It would also provide a community benefits package, including our local electricity discount scheme which would see the properties closest to the wind farm offered an annual discount of £200 off their electricity bills for the lifetime of the wind farm.
“A community benefit fund would also be available for local projects. The community benefit package of £5,000 per installed megawatt could total £4.5 million in direct benefit to the community over the lifetime of the wind farm.”
Meanwhile, the £8 million construction contract will see Luce Bay Plant Hire complete both the offsite road improvements for RES in preparation for construction starting on site and civil works for the construction of the wind farm – its first in Dumfriesshire.
Once operational, the wind farm will be capable of generating sufficient renewable electricity to meet the annual average requirements of more than 20,000 homes.
Across the UK, RES currently has more than 1,000MW of wind energy projects either constructed, under construction or consented.