Press release | 2015-03-30 | 11:31 AM

Highland wind farm proposal clocks up large visitor numbers to drop in sessions

More work to be done to promote ownership opportunities

A leading Swedish wind farm developer has published feedback from January drop in sessions about a possible wind farm six kilometres north of Grantown-on-Spey.

Vattenfall has confirmed that more than eighty people attended the two Ourack Wind Energy Project sessions in the Highland town and Dunphail. Comments were received about landscape and visual impacts around Dava Moor, how much noise the scheme might create and the impact on local wildlife. Local people also outlined what they would like to see brought to the area through a wind farm investment.

The Vattenfall project team, and independent specialists, will use the feedback to set out areas for research so that impacts and benefits can be fully understood. The results of the research will then determine proposed final turbine numbers and site layout.

Frank Park, Vattenfall’s project manager for the Ourack Wind Energy Project, said: “We believe that engagement this early in the process is the best way to design a good wind farm that supports the local area. So, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to comment on a potential wind farm six kilometres north of Grantown-on-Spey.

Frank added that the Ourack Wind Energy Project will now follow two work programmes.

He said: “Our technical research will progress over the coming months and we will look to engage with as many local interests as we can, especially those identified in the drop in sessions.

“Also, we asked about possible investment opportunities. Local residents wanted to understand more how Vattenfall could help boost local tourism and support the resilience and enhancement of the local environment.”

He concluded: “The feedback suggests that local people are not fully aware that communities in the area could own part of the Ourack Wind Energy project. Its early days, but I think we need to do more to promote ownership opportunities.”

In Scotland, Vattenfall already operates the 18-turbine Edinbane Wind Farm on the Isle of Skye and recently finished the construction of the 18-turbine Clashindarroch Wind Farm in Aberdeenshire. With four projects in development in Scotland, including Ourack, Vattenfall could invest £500m by 2021 and open up major opportunities to Scottish business and communities.