Hoolan Energy has submitted a planning application to Orkney Islands Council for the proposed Hesta Head Wind Farm, near Ward Hill on South Ronaldsay.
The proposed development is for five turbines up to 125m in height to tip and will have a capacity of up to 20.4MW. The plans for the wind development at Hesta Head were first announced in April 2015 and Hoolan Energy installed a met mast at the site in March 2016.
Separate to the Hesta Head proposals, Hoolan Energy submitted a planning application in December 2016 for their proposed Costa Head Wind Farm on the Mainland.
The Hesta Head application follows Hoolan Energy undertaking a Scoping exercise, Environmental Impact Assessment work and a public exhibition at Cromarty Hall. The studies and consultation have helped shape the design of the project, such as reducing the number of turbines from six to five.
Hoolan Energy has committed to offering the project as a shared ownership model, giving local groups and residents the opportunity to invest in the scheme. The shared ownership model of the project is separate to traditional community benefit, whereby Hoolan Energy is also committed to offering £5,000 per MW per annum during the lifetime of the project (25 years). The community benefit will be index linked and, if the project is consented and has an installed capacity of 20.4MW, then this would amount to over £100,000 per annum in community benefit.
If consented, the wind farm will cost in the region of £20m to construct and Hoolan Energy is committed to using local companies where possible and work with the local supply chain to maximise the benefits during the construction phase.
Hoolan Energy has already made a transmission grid connection application for the proposal and accepted the grid offer from National Grid, with an indicative connection date of October 2022 should the proposal be consented. SSE are responsible for the grid infrastructure design and route in Orkney as well the wider grid upgrades planned to reinforce the existing grid connection from Orkney to Caithness.
SSE have recently held information days in Orkney to discuss their plans and more information can be found at www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/projects/orkney/
Lizzie Foot, Development Director of Hoolan Energy, said:
“The submission of the planning application for Hesta Head Wind Farm follows a number of detailed studies and assessments. We would like to thank all the residents who have been in touch with us on the plans and the input from the local community to date.”
“If consented, the project will be offered as a shared ownership wind farm, giving the opportunity for those in the community who are interested to invest in the scheme. We will also work with the local supply chain so that local businesses where possible can deliver this project.”