Green energy firm Infinergy has officially resubmitted its planning application for a 24 turbine-turbine wind farm at Limekiln, in Caithness.
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 over 45,000 homes.
Limekiln Wind Farm was considered at Inquiry by the Reporters appointed by Scottish Ministers in August 2014 following an objection by The Highland Council. Although most of the Reporter’s findings were very positive, it was decided planning permission would not be granted. The decision was issued in July last year and it was based on a lack of information regarding Wild Land.
Infinergy has now addressed that issue in the resubmission of the application, adding further information relating to the particular area of concern.
Esbjorn Wilmar, Managing Director of Infinergy said: “I am very pleased to have been able to address the area of concern raised by the Reporters and am confident that this will show that Limekiln is indeed a suitably sited and designed wind farm which will bring a great deal of benefit to the local area.”
Now that shared ownership of renewable energy projects is gaining interest all over Scotland, Infinergy has also decided to look into options for community ownership of part of Limekiln wind farm. The company is briefing the local community council and Highland Council Members of both Landward Caithness and Thurso and is keen to engage with community bodies and social enterprises right along the north coast area.
Infinergy’s Fiona Milligan said: “We want to make Limekiln Wind Farm deliver real tangible socio-economic benefits to the people of Caithness and Sutherland. To do that, we are looking into the opportunity for community bodies or social enterprises to invest in part of the wind farm. The returns can be used for projects, causes and initiatives that will enhance communities in this part of the world and provide facilities and services that are needed for this area to thrive”.
Infinergy has been discussing community benefits from Limekiln Wind Farm with community and stakeholder representatives since the project was first launched in 2012. Infinergy is committed to £5,000 per MW installed capacity, which in Limekiln’s case would be £360,000 per annum for the project’s life – £9 million of investment into this fragile area of the north of Scotland. So far, discussions with the Community Liaison Forum have brought out ideas including rural transport development and tourism initiatives such as local surf facilities. The recent community consultation process reinforced both of those areas, as well as bringing forward the suggestion of supporting local businesses and skills development.
Application documents are available to download from the downloads section of this site and are also available to view locally at Reay Village Hall (by arrangement), and The Highland Council offices in both Wick and Inverness.