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Plans for 17 wind turbines by Grantown submitted to Scottish Government

By Gavin Musgrove

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A photomontage of the Lethen Wind Farm on Dava Moor from four kilometres away.
A photomontage of the Lethen Wind Farm on Dava Moor from four kilometres away.

Fred. Olsen Renewables has applied to the Scottish Government for permission to develop a 17-turbine wind farm on the Dava Moor.

The plans for Lethen Wind Farm are 10 kilometres north west of Grantown and have been the focus of community consultation since early last year.

The company said the design has been revised a number of times in response to feedback gathered locally and the wind farm now consist of turbines at 185 metres to tip, alongside a battery storage facility.

A Fred. Olsen Renewables spokesperson said: "If approved the proposals will bring forward a unique fuel poverty programme which will support local residents to reduce their energy bills and help to address fuel poverty in the region, as well as providing a substantial community benefit fund and helping support Scotland’s net zero aspirations."

In the past the company has said the development could lead to £19 million being given to surrounding local community projects over the course of the wind farm’s lifetime.

The feedback that has been gathered throughout the consultation process has also helped shape the benefits that the project will deliver locally.

The spokesperson said: "This includes the development of the Lethen Wind Farm Energy Efficiency Programme.

"The first of its kind in Scotland, the Lethen Wind Farm Energy Efficiency Programme will make it easier for people to consider how they heat their homes, switch to a green tariff and save money on their bills."

Fred. Olsen Renewables said the scheme will focus on providing hands-on-advice locally, and include:

• employing a local energy efficiency officer.

• Helping to address fuel poverty and energy efficiency in local households.

• Identifying and supporting those living in fuel poor households.

• Providing additional support, over and above existing financial support mechanisms.

• Helping to bring forward energy efficiency measures for individual households.

• Supporting a community-wide energy conservation strategy.

Julie Aitken, Project Manager at Fred. Olsen Renewables, commented: “The final proposals for Lethen Wind Farm are the result of extensive and encouraging stakeholder engagement.

"We are pleased to submit our plans to the Scottish Government and are confident that they bring forward a carefully considered wind farm alongside a range of local opportunities.

"I would like to thank local residents for their interest. It is their input that has really helped to shape our final proposals.

“There is a significant focus locally about the opportunities to become more energy efficient, tackle rising bills and help people out of fuel poverty.

"We are confident that Lethen Wind Farm can support this process and really help the local community play its part in Scotland’s net zero transition.”

The site for the proposed development is close to the existing Tom nan Clach wind farm which sits between the communities of Glenferness, Grantown and Tomatin.

The annual community benefits from any wind farm built at Lethen would be shared between community council areas within a 10km radius of the site including Grantown, Dulnain Bridge, Cromdale, Strathdearn and Dava Residents Association.

But the cash windfall promised by developers was described a short time after the announcement as ‘bribery’ by seasoned anti-wind farm campaigner Pat Wells.

Local residents are encouraged to view the application documents here where they can find out more about the project and have their say on the plans.

What do you think of the plans? Have your say in comments or email us at editorial@sbherald.co.uk

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