By DARA BUTTERFIELD
The state-owned Swedish energy company Vattenfall is considering a new wind farm development in Strathspey and Badenoch this month as it begins a series of meetings with local residents, communities and businesses.
The Ourack Wind Energy Project is to be located around 6km north of Grantown-on-Spey on the Castle Grant Estate, which is owned by the Reidhaven Estate.
To open discussions with the community Vattenfall is holding two information days: Edinkillie Hall, Dunphail 21 Jan – 2pm – 8pm; and Inverallan Parish Church Hall, Grantown-on-Spey 22 Jan – 2pm – 8pm. The final number of wind turbines proposed for the site will not be announced until 2016.
In Scotland, Vattenfall already operates the 18-turbine Edinbane Wind Farm on the Isle of Skye and recently finished the construction of the 18-turbine Clashindarroch Wind Farm in Aberdeenshire. With four projects in development in Scotland, Vattenfall could invest £500m by 2021, providing major supply-chain opportunities to Scottish business.
Its application – submitted in August 2013 – for a 50-turbine wind farm in South Kyle, Ayrshire, is still outstanding.
Stockholm-based Vattenfall has 32,000 employees and generates heat and electricity from six energy sources; wind, hydro, biomass, nuclear, coal and gas.
Frank Park, Vattenfall Project Manager, said: “Effective and early local engagement is at the heart of developing a scheme which brings the widest possible benefit to the area. This early local engagement is a genuine opportunity to influence the research and assessment of the Ourack Wind Energy Project.
“We would encourage as many people, community groups and local businesses as possible to join us at the information days to discuss any concerns they may have but also discuss how a wind farm can deliver the widest possible benefit from home-grown renewable energy.”