News from Orkney Islands Council
Key documents on Orkney Islands Council’s Community Wind Farm project are now available through the planning portal on the council website.
The Council announced in April that it was investigating an additional two sites for potential community wind farms in the county – to add to the project already under investigation on Hoy.
The new projects under consideration are located at Faray, in the North Isles, and at Quanterness.
Three well-attended public drop-in information sessions were held in Kirkwall, Eday and Rendall over the last fortnight.
A fourth event is due to take place in Westray on Wednesday 19 June at the Hofn Centre, with return events planned as the project progresses.
Request for Scoping Opinion Reports, and associated documents, for both these projects are now available, setting out further details of the project.
Request for Scoping Opinion Reports are submitted by project developers in the very early stages of major projects as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. The reports provide details of the planned project and give key stakeholders like SNH and SEPA an opportunity to feedback to the applicant on what they would like to see included in the EIA process.
The Environmental Impact Assessment is a key aspect of many large scale planning applications. It is an information gathering and assessment exercise which helps stakeholders, the public and the planning authority understand the potential environmental impacts of major development proposals.
‘Orkney’s Community Wind Farm Project’ could generate significant income and community benefit for Orkney. All profit would stay in the islands, enabling the Council to preserve and enhance key services that local people value and depend upon and providing a foundation for communities to drive transformational projects of their own.
The developments will also allow the Council 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, including future development of the marine energy sector, as well as helping helping Orkney contribute towards low carbon objectives.
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.
Plans for a development of up to around 28MW in Hoy were announced to the local community last year – with sites for a development of up to 32MW on the island of Faray and up to 24MW on shoreside farmland at Quanterness outside Kirkwall now also being investigated.
Councillor James Stockan, Leader of Orkney Islands Council, said:
“We are keen to keep the public informed on this project as it develops. Our well-attended consultation events were very useful, and allowed a range of views and opinions to be expressed and we’re looking forward to carrying out a further event in Westray in June.
“Once all the information events are complete, we’ll be looking to provide more online information on the project and in the meantime I’d encourage folk to take a look at the scoping reports for detailed information.”