Through ‘Orkney’s Community Wind Farm Project’ the Council’s Strategic Projects team has been investigating three sites for potential community wind farms in the county – in Hoy, Faray in the North Isles, and at Quanterness in St Ola.
If the proposals and sites are found through the planning process to be appropriate and the project goes forward for further consideration by elected members, it could generate significant income and community benefit for Orkney. All profit would stay in the islands, enabling us to preserve and enhance key services that local people value and depend upon and provide a foundation for communities to drive transformational projects of their own.
The developments will also allow us to join other local developers in making a meaningful contribution to a Needs Case for a new interconnector for Orkney, thereby substantially supporting the vital renewable energy industry in Orkney. The wider economic development value of a new cable to Orkney could be highly significant, particularly if a substantial proportion of local ownership can be secured - which will help employment and income remain in the county.
You can read more about the potential economic value of a new transmission link here.
All three sites have enough space for up to six 149.9m blade tip height turbines each. All three developments are substantial, and the turbines are of a height not used in Orkney before. The projects therefore present a number of challenges – not least the visual impact - and these must be weighed against the potential benefits from the project. Individuals will have different opinions on that balance and through the planning process have been given an opportunity to express their support or objections to the development.
The Quanterness and Hoy applications were submitted in January 2020 and August 2020 and subsequently called in by the Scottish Government, on our request. With the statutory consultation processes now complete,, we are awaiting a decision on both.
The Faray application was submitted in May 2021. It has also been called in and we expect the Scottish Government may carry out further consultation.
These web pages provide full information on the project, the latest updates and details on how you can make you views known throughout the process.
If you have any queries please contact Kirsty Groundwater, Project Officer (Communication and Engagement) by email or phone 07818508323.