Published: 20/09/2011 17:00 - Updated: 20/09/2011 17:15

Strathy attracts wind farm developers

SSE have already applied for planning permission
SSE have already applied for planning permission








The village of Strathy is proving to be a magnet for large-scale wind farm developers.

With two schemes already at an advanced planning stage, interest in a third has just been confirmed.

Should all three get the green light, it would make the area home to one of the biggest conglomeration of turbines in the UK.

The ventures involve 138 turbines – two fewer than Europe’s biggest onshore wind farm at Eaglesham Moor, south of Glasgow.

The Strathy ventures however would have – at 337 megawatts – a bigger potential output.

According to their would-be developers, the hulking devices could supply the energy needs of over 270,000 homes.

That’s not bad from a village with about 200 inhabitants.

Thus far, community representatives have been receptive to the interest in harnessing one of the area’s most abundant natural resources – wind.

They have been in detailed discussions with one potential developer’s representatives, Scottish and Southern Energy, about potential local spin-offs from its Strathy North development, which is on a tract of woodland, over five miles south of the village.

Earlier this year, Highland Council opted not to object to the 33 turbines, which would have a wing-tip height of 110 metres.

A Scottish Government decision on this is expected before the end of the year.

SSE is also seeking approval for a 77-turbine scheme at nearby Strathy South.

E.ON has meanwhile revealed it is investigating going ahead with a 84 megawatt scheme, involving up to 28 turbines, on ground inbetween the SSE sites.

Community representatives believe its tie-up with SSE could help regenerate their area by creating opportunities for local young people."

* More on this story in this Friday's Northern Times
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