Jobs hope as developer RES signs deal with Sutherland contractor Edward Mackay over proposed Kintradwell Wind Farm near Brora
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Hopes of local jobs connected to a Sutherland wind farm have been boosted after a pledge was made with a local contractor.
The deal with local civil contractor, Edward Mackay, centres on RES's planned Kintradwell Wind Farm.
The agreement, which was signed last week, gives Edward Mackay right of first refusal on the civil construction work for the proposed scheme – helping to secure jobs and employment opportunities for local people should the project receive planning permission.
RES has also committed to support a local apprentice at Edward Mackay, with a view to the apprenticeship being completed in time for site construction work starting at Kintradwell.
The scheme, which lies approximately five miles north of Brora, has undergone several design iterations.
In response to community feedback and site survey work the proposal has reduced from 22 turbines to 15.
The feedback and subsequent changes have helped to refine the scheme by reducing the visibility of the proposal, particularly from the Brora and Doll area.
John Appleton, senior development project manager at RES, explained: “One of the key areas of feedback from the community was that people wanted to see real local jobs being delivered from the project, and we have taken this seriously.
"RES has a strong track-record of working closely with the local supply chain around its projects to maximise inward investment and local benefit. As such, we feel that this partnership with Edward Mackays could be really beneficial for the area.”
Liam Mackay, director at Edward Mackays, said: “We employ around 100 local staff from areas such as Brora, Golspie and Helmsdale, and have extensive wind farm experience.
"All credit to RES for engaging with local businesses and for giving us the opportunity to get stuck into a project on our doorstep, should it proceed. The work that we are looking at is significant and could be a real boost for not only our business but the whole area, so we’re hoping that the community will get behind the project once it’s been submitted into planning.”
If consented, developers say that Kintradwell would have the potential to deliver approximately £4.7 million of local economic benefit in the form of jobs, employment and use of local services.
Kintradwell would also be capable of generating enough clean, low-cost renewable electricity for approximately 69,000 homes, making a valuable contribution to Scotland’s renewable energy targets and helping to tackle climate change.
A Section 36 application for consent is expected to be submitted to the Scottish Government by the end of the year.
RES is the world’s largest independent renewable energy company active in onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage, transmission and distribution.