Plans submitted for Hill of Fare windfarm

Proposed view of the wind farm from Banchory

PLANS FOR a giant windfarm near Banchory have finally been lodged with Aberdeenshire Council.

A Section 36 planning application has been submitted by RES for a 16-turbine wind farm proposal at Hill of Fare, which could create a £150million boost for the local economy.

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However, the turbines, some of which are 200-metres tall and twice the height of Big Ben, are expected to draw hundreds of objections form local communities.

A questionnaire conducted by community councils surrounding the hill found only 11% were in favour and 75% were against the plans, which the developer previously said could be seen from 20 miles away in all directions, from Moray to Angus.

The project, located approximately 6km north of Banchory, went public in August 2022 and is predicted to deliver £14million of investment in Aberdeenshire during construction and a further £66million of economic activity linked to operations and maintenance work, during the wind farm’s operational life.

Furthermore, it has been estimated that approximately £50million could be paid in business rates to Aberdeenshire Council, supporting vital local services, alongside a proposed community benefit package of over £26million.

About the project

The proposed Hill of Fare Wind Farm, which has been through detailed site assessment work and extensive public consultation, utilises powerful modern turbines to deliver an installed capacity of 105.6 MW.

If consented, the wind farm would be capable of generating enough clean, low-cost electricity for around 101,000 homes each year or enough electricity to power 169,000 electric cars per annum, representing 18% of the current EV fleet in the UK.

Gavin Shirley, Development Project Manager at RES, said: “We welcome the UK Government’s recent commitment to attracting record levels of investment in renewable energy in the King’s Speech. Projects like Hill of Fare are a key part of that investment pipeline and could deliver millions of pounds of benefit for local businesses and communities for decades to come.

“As part of the plans at Hill of Fare we’re proposing a tailored community benefit package for the local area, which would be worth £528,000 each year or £26.4 million over the project’s lifetime. This package would be agreed with the surrounding communities and could include RES’ unique Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS), which offers an annual discount to the electricity bills of those properties closest to the wind farm, something that has received strong interest from the community.”

Click here to view the planning application.

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