Thurso area to benefit from RES wind farm scheme
by RES | Aug 26, 2022 | Reading time: 3 min
Cairnmore Hill, which went into planning this week, is understood to be the first wind farm in Caithness to include Thurso Community Council area as a direct beneficiary of its community benefit package.
RES has submitted a planning application to The Highland Council for its re-designed Cairnmore Hill Wind Farm. The revised 5-turbine proposal, sited approximately 4.5km west of Thurso, lies in an area identified by the Council as having ‘potential for wind farm development’.
If consented, Cairnmore Hill Wind Farm would be capable of generating enough clean, low-cost electricity to meet the annual demand of around 24,000 homes. It will also provide a tailored package of benefits aligned with community priorities to help deliver local projects that will secure long-term economic, social and environmental benefits.
Euan Hogg, Development Project Manager at RES, explained: “There has been a lot of interest at our public exhibitions in the community benefit, including positive feedback about the Thurso area being included as a beneficiary. If the project goes ahead we hope to work with both Caithness West and Thurso Community Councils, as well as Caithness Chamber of Commerce and Thurso Community Development Trust, to ensure that the community benefit package supports local needs and priorities which strengthen the local area.”
In addition, Cairnmore Hill would deliver around £1.4 million of inward investment in the form of jobs, employment, and the use of local services as well as around £8.75 million in business rates to The Highland Council over the wind farm’s operational lifetime.
Trudy Morris, CEO of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, commented: “One of our roles as a chamber is to help developers understand our local supply chain capabilities and ensure that benefits are maximised locally for both business and community if projects proceed. We welcome the willingness of RES to work with us to gain a better appreciation of what is available in our region.”
Alan Gow, owner of Gow Groundworks in Halkirk, explained: “We’ve worked on a number of wind farms across Caithness and have seen how projects like Cairnmore Hill can strengthen the supply chain. In addition to injecting much needed investment into the county, they play an important part in upskilling the young workforce, so we hope that Cairnmore Hill is successful in planning this time around.”
James Mackay, local Forss resident, added: “I’m the closest resident to the site and fully support the project. RES have engaged well and their exhibitions have been helpful. The project will make good use of the wind here and provide long term benefit to the Forss and Thurso area – as well as job opportunities and contracts for local businesses. I hope it gets consented.”
Onshore wind, together with large scale solar, is the cheapest form of electricity generation. It also increases energy security by reducing reliance on imports and isn’t subject to sudden price fluctuations or the uncertainty of global markets. With the current cost of living crisis and climate change emergency, projects like Cairnmore Hill are crucial to help support the transition to a zero-carbon future.
In Scotland, RES has developed and/or constructed 21 wind farms with a total generation capacity of 597MW. The Scottish Government has set a legally binding target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045 and onshore wind projects like Cairnmore Hill will play an important role in helping to achieve these targets.
Notes to editors:
RES is the world’s largest independent renewable energy company and is active in onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage, green hydrogen, transmission and distribution. As an industry innovator for over 40 years, RES has delivered more than 23GW of renewable energy projects across the globe and supports an operational asset portfolio exceeding 9GW worldwide for a large client base. Understanding the unique needs of corporate clients, RES has secured over 1.5GW of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) enabling access to energy at the lowest cost. RES employs over 2,500 passionate people and is active in 11 countries. Visit www.res-group.com
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