SSE Renewables, the renewable energy development division of SSE, has revised its Strathy South wind farm proposal, which is currently in planning, and submitted an addendum to the Scottish Government for a much reduced scheme.
The addendum amends the 77 turbine scheme down to 47 with a revised and improved design which significantly, they say, reduces its environmental impact, particularly on birds and peatland, and is aimed at addressing the main concerns raised by consultees when it was originally submitted into planning in 2007.
However, the maximum turbine tip height has also been increased from 110m to 135m, although visibility in the surrounding area remains minimal
Turbines have been re-positioned to avoid sensitive areas such as deep peat, and pulled back, where possible, from the south and east forest edges to increase the distance from nearby designations.
In addition, the turbine buffer from watercourses has been increased to 70m, and a bird corridor introduced through the site.
The grid route and access tracks have been moved further away from designated areas, with better use of existing tracks, and borrow pits and lay-down areas have been rationalised to lessen overall impact.
All of these changes have resulted in the carbon payback period for the project reducing to 18 months.