Landowner invitation as wind farm initiative moves forward
Landowners in Orkney are being invited to put forward possible sites for a substantial wind energy project.
This follows the recent decision by Orkney Islands Council to investigate the potential for a large scale wind farm to serve as an important source of income for the county.
Landowners are asked to get in touch with the Council if they might be interested in selling or leasing sites of at least 100 hectares (247 acres), which could be developed as a sizable wind farm.
Information about the criteria for suitable land and on how to submit an expression of interest is available here.
“As we move forward with this initiative, we want to make sure we’ve explored every avenue open to us,” said OIC Leader James Stockan.
“We welcome approaches from people across Orkney with land that could prove suitable - it’s important we identify the best possible location for the type of project we envisage.”
Councillor Stockan added: “The Council is taking an entrepreneurial approach to addressing the many challenges we and our community face in the years ahead.
“We fully expect the Council’s funding from Government to reduce greatly – while demand continues to grow for many of the services we provide.
“The income from a large scale wind farm could play a vital role in enabling us to maintain services and avoid the need for cuts.
“In addition, a substantial wind energy development would require a new grid connection to the Scottish mainland.
“With a new link to the grid, community-owned wind turbines could then operate to their full potential, instead of having their output constrained. It could also act as a catalyst for the further development of our marine renewables industry.”
An initial study commissioned last year looked at four potential sites, two of which have since been ruled out as unsuitable for a large wind farm.
In addition to inviting landowners to come forward with other potential sites, the next phase of work on the project will involve drawing up detailed proposals for the wind energy development.
A community consultation on these draft proposals will then take place, to gather feedback from the public, local businesses and a range of other organisations.