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Sutherland wind farm approval
Planning consent has been granted for a wind farm which will generate 75.9 megawatts electricity or enough to power more than 35,000 homes - or around twice the number of homes in Inverness - with green energy.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has approved the Strathy North wind farm, 5km south of the village of Strathy in Sutherland.
The wind farm will have 33 wind turbines, and will create up to 100 jobs in the local community during construction, as well as longer term roles. It will deliver more than 3.5 million pounds of community benefit during the 25 years it will operate.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:
"The Strathy North site is expected to create jobs during construction and will represent a significant boost to the local economy.
"Once it is up and running the wind farm will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and will produce enough electricity to power more than 35,000 homes.
"In consenting this application I have put in place a series of conditions to protect the outstanding natural habitats and landscapes and local communities. I am confident that Strathy North will provide great benefits to its local community and play an important part in helping Scotland reach its target of the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand generated from renewables."
Developers SSE Renewables Limited applied to the Scottish Government in January 2007 and further information was submitted in November 2010. A total of 174 representations from members of the public were received, 166 against and eight in support. The Highland Council were supportive of the application, subject to certain conditions.
The Scottish Government's target is to meet the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand from renewables by 2020. In 2009, 27 per cent of electricity demand came from renewables. There is around 7 Gigawatts (GW) of renewables capacity installed, under construction or consented around Scotland, which will take Scotland beyond the interim target of 31 per cent of Scotland's electricity demand from renewables by 2011.
The Scottish Government has determined 54 energy applications, including approval for 44 new renewable and three non-renewable projects since May 2007. Another 38 applications (29 onshore wind, three hydro and five bio/ thermal one coal) are currently being processed.