Green energy firm Infinergy will today begin the appeal of its planning application at Public Inquiry for a 24 turbine-turbine wind farm at Limekiln, in Caithness. Infinergy believes the project will create new industries, jobs and skills that will outlast the decommissioning of nearby Dounreay Power Station, however The Highland Council North Planning Applications Committee took the decision to go against officer recommendation and object to the Section 36 scheme.
Located 2.8km South/Southwest of Dounreay Power Station, the proposal consists of 24 turbines that will measure a maximum of 139m from ground to blade tip, with a total electricity generating capacity of 72 megawatts (MW). The wind farm has the potential to provide sufficient electricity to meet the needs of up to 43,600 homes and displace 80,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, based on the average generation mix of UK power sources.
Esbjorn Wilmar, Infinergy’s Managing Director said: “We continue to believe that Limekiln has huge potential, not only to reduce carbon emissions to help meet the Scottish Government’s ambitious electricity generation targets, but to also provide significant investment and economic benefits to the local area. We look forward to putting forward a positive case for this development at the Public Local Inquiry and hope that Scottish Ministers will approve the project in the future.”
Limekiln Wind Farm comes with a community benefit fund of £5000 per MW of installed capacity, equating to £360,000 per year or £9 million over the lifetime of the development. Infinergy has been working with local community groups and individuals since the project was launched. A number of ideas to support the local community of Reay, but also to the wider region have been proposed to grow tourism in the area, providing jobs and skills, as well as in relation to how the community benefit could be used to help provide key support services such as transport, for local vulnerable people.
The inquiry will be held at The Weigh Inn, Thurso and is expected to last up to a week.