The development by NBW Wind Energy will have a generating capacity of up to 70MW – and effectively replaces the existing planning permission granted by Highland Council for a smaller, 50MW, 20 turbine project on the same site.
It is estimated that Corriegarth Wind Farm will power 33,000 homes. During the construction period, it is envisaged that local and national employers will 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.
Corriegarth is the family estate of former Barings Bank stockbroker Andrew Fraser, who last year donated £200,000 to ‘Better Together’ during Scotland’s Independence referendum campaign.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Corriegarth 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 show we have almost met our 50% renewable electricity target a year ahead of schedule. I am pleased renewable electricity generation continues to go from strength to strength in Scotland.”