The Scottish government has given consent for a state-owned Swedish utility to build a 170-megawatt wind farm in Ayrshire, enabling it to speed up talks with local communities about buying a share in the project.
Vattenfall first submitted a Section 36 planning application for the 50-turbine, onshore South Kyle wind farm four years ago.
The utility wants to offer East Ayrshire and North Galloway communities the right to acquire an interest of up to 5 percent in the scheme.
Vattenfall also plans to provide a community benefit fund of £5,000 pounds per megawatt installed per year over the operational lifetime of the wind farm. This would equate to £750,000 per annum for local communities (based on 50 x 3 MW wind turbines).
The £190m development went to a public inquiry in 2015 after an initial planning application two years earlier.
The wind farm is located near Dalmellington, Patna, New Cumnock and Carsphairn.
Local businesses – including AAT Wind Energy, Barr Quarries, and the operator of Ayr harbour – have previously welcomed the South Kyle development.
However, the developer intends to consider the consent decision in detail before committing to building the project.
Guy Mortimer, Vattenfall’s UK head of development for onshore wind, said: “There is a long way to go before we are able to construct and operate this wind farm, but if constructed, this will be a wind farm that we hope local people and businesses will take pride in.”