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Onshore application for Pentland wind farm infrastructure to be considered

By Nicola Sinclair, Local Democracy Reporter

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Highland Wind Limited has submitted an application for planning in principle for the online component of Pentland Offshore Wind Farm.

The developer has submitted outline plans for an onshore substation, which will export electricity generated from the offshore turbines.

The substation will be located near Dounreay, to the west of the Vulcan site.

An illustration of how the Pentland Offshore Wind Farm could look.
An illustration of how the Pentland Offshore Wind Farm could look.

Onsite infrastructure includes a cable landfall, where two offshore export cables will be brought ashore via horizontal directional drilling. This is alongside cable circuits and access tracks to support the offshore operation.

Highland councillors agreed in December 2022 not to object to proposals for the offshore wind farm, which falls under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.

Highland Council planners have recommended that the committee also raises no objection to this onshore element.

The application did not attract any representations from the public. NatureScot has, however, said it will object unless the detailed work includes measures to protect local peatlands and the North Caithness Cliffs Special Protection Area.

The RSPB is also concerned about the lack of detailed survey work on the impact on birdlife. While it has stopped short of objecting, the organisation has asked for more survey work.

Lastly, Highland Council’s environmental health department has asked the developer for a noise assessment and suggested a limit on operational noise at the onshore station.

The council's north planning committee will consider the application at its meeting on Wednesday, January 25.

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