The 72.6MW Creag Riabhach Wind Farm has been approved by Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse and will located on the Altnaharra Estate, near Lairg, in the North Highlands, Scotland.
The wind farm will generate enough power for 36,000 homes and will reduce CO2 emissions by 66,000 tonnes per year.
According to their website, the wind farm will provide the following benefits to the local community:
- The community contribution scheme would comprise an annual payment to the community benefit fund of £5,000 per MW, amounting to £363,000 per annum, more than £9 million for the 25 year operational life of the Proposed Development
- Creation of employment in Altnaharra – part of the income generated by the wind farm will be used to support five local jobs.
- It is proposed that businesses and residents within the local area will have their electricity (or equivalent) paid by the wind farm.
- Benefits to local projects funded through the local community benefit fund administered by the Altnaharra Charitable Trust.
- Improvements to attractiveness of Altnaharra as a destination to live or set up business as a result of subsidised energy costs provided by the local community benefit fund
- Reduction in unemployment in the local area due to the provision of employment support grants funded by the Altnaharra Estate using income received from the wind farm
- Beneficial short and long term economic impact on the Highland economy during the construction, operation and maintenance phase of development
- All of the five Community Councils (Scourie, Kinlochbervie, Durness, Tongue and Bettyhill, Strathnaver and Altnaharra) have agreed to participate in the North and West Sutherland Charitable Trust to distribute part of the community benefit fund.
Mr. Wheelhouse commented on the project: “Renewable energy sources accounted for over 56.7% of gross electricity consumption in Scotland in 2015, and onshore wind is a key driver for the growth in both our renewable electricity supply and wider renewable energy sector and in the delivery of our vision for a greener Scotland and statutory climate change targets by enabling decarbonisation of electricity production.
This proposal for Creag Riabhach received popular support from the local community council and public alike and, once operational, the wind farm will generate enough electricity to power 36,000 homes and generate over £9 million in benefits for the local community.”