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November 2020 – Approval for Ben Sca Wind Farm

The planning application for the Ben Sca Wind Farm, which will see reduced electricity bills for those near to the site and the potential for the local community to own a stake in the project, has been granted by The Highland Council’s North Area Planning Committee.

The seven turbine, 29.4MW, Ben Sca Wind Farm proposed by Wind2 will be located approximately 2km north of Edinbane.

The developer has committed to offering those closest to the wind farm (within 4km) the opportunity to reduce their energy bills, either through a contribution to their electricity bill or towards home energy efficiency improvements, as part of a £5,000 per MW community benefit package that could amount to £4.4 million over the life of the wind farm.

In addition, Wind2 is exploring opportunities for the communities around the site to acquire a direct stake of up to 5% in the project, in line with the Scottish Government’s Good Practice Principles for Shared Ownership of Onshore Renewable Energy Developments.

Commenting on the approval of Ben Sca Wind Farm, Wind2 Development Director Fraser Mackenzie, who is based in the Highlands, said:

“The team at Wind2 are really pleased that Highland Council have decided to grant planning permission for Ben Sca wind farm today. This has been the culmination of a number of years of effort since we started working on the project in 2017.”

“Although some members of our team at Wind2 have been working in renewables for decades, as a relatively new company we are particularly pleased with this result; our first planning permission from our growing portfolio of subsidy-free renewables projects.”

“We know from on-site wind monitoring that Ben Sca is one of the windiest locations in the Highlands and the project will be able to operate without subsidy, whilst also reducing the electricity bills of those in the immediate area and delivering other projects of benefit to the community through our proposed community benefit fund.”

The proposal will connect to the grid network near Dunvegan. This connection has already been considered by the transmission operator, SSEN Transmission, as part of their plans to replace the Fort Augustus to Ardmore network, for which online consultation took place earlier this year.