A 25-TURBINE wind farm – which is set to pump £30million into the Highland economy – has been given the green light by the Scottish Government.
• Wind farm will be situated near Invergarry in Lochaber and would generate £500,000 a year for local communities
• Developer RidgeWind Ltd will provide five £1000 scholarships for local young people going to technical college or university
• Students from community council areas hosting wind farm will have priority
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has approved the Beinneun wind farm, near Invergarry in Lochaber.
He said it would generate £500,000 a year for local communities, including scholarships to send local young people into further education.
The 85 megawatt development by RidgeWind Ltd will provide power equivalent of the energy needs of 40,000 homes.
The wind farm will bring 90 jobs to the area during the two years of construction and employ three people directly and three indirectly.
During the construction period, the wind farm will bring £30 million to the Highland economy, and it is estimated it will bring £3 million a year to the local economy once it is operational, including half a million pounds a year paid to the local communities.
The developer will provide five £1000 scholarships for local young people going on into university or technical college.
Students from the community council areas which will host the wind farm - Fort Augustus & Glenmoriston and Glengarry - would have priority.
Mr Ewing said: “Once it is up and running it will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and it is expected that the savings made will ‘pay off’ the carbon footprint of constructing the site in less than two years.
“In consenting this application I have put in place a series of conditions to protect natural habitats, local communities and local wildlife.
“This includes a research programme into common scoter breeding ecology which was suggested by the RSPB and will include scoter and mammal surveys, fish studies, and investigation of the loch profile”
The development received one representation in support and no objections from members of the public. It was opposed by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.