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    Further public consultation for offshore wind farm plans

    May 19, 2022 - John O'Groat Journal


      WIND farm developers have said they want benefits to be "far-reaching" for the local supply chain and community.

      A second round of community consultations on the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm (PFOWF) took place in person in Reay and Thurso last week.

      Members of the project team were on hand to talk through the changes and answer questions ahead of a detailed planning application being submitted later this year.

      Online consultation events were also held on Wednesday.

      The wind farm will be located around 6.5 kilometres off Dounreay and will have a maximum of 10 turbines with an installed capacity of up to 100 megawatts. The proposed maximum blade-tip height for the PFOWF turbines is 300 metres.

      Floating wind consents and environment manager Andy Blyth said: "We’d like to thank everybody that took the time to attend the consultation events and for the positive feedback we received.

      "Following earlier community engagement, we’ve endeavoured as much as possible to take the feedback on board in this consultation process. The project team is now reviewing the feedback received during the consultations and investigating how it can be factored into the project design for submission.

      "At every stage of this project, we’ve aimed to consult as widely and comprehensively as possible and want the benefits the development can bring to be far-reaching, both in terms of the local supply chain and community benefit."

      Alongside consultation on the project itself, residents were invited to have their say on the proposed community benefit fund which would be managed by Foundation Scotland – an independent grant-making charity that has been commissioned to collect local views through a series of in-person and online events.

      Eilidh Coll, Foundation Scotland’s Caithness-based representative, who attended the consultation events, said: "Early discussions suggest that a community benefit with priority given to the community, or communities, closest to the scheme would be a positive step and well received.

      "Common issues to emerge included the lack of local electric vehicle charging points and suitable waste disposal points for campervans in the area.

      "The cost-of-living crisis was also highlighted as an issue and any projects intended to help local people tackle this would be welcomed."

      An online survey is open, allowing residents to share feedback on the Pentland Community Fund. It can be accessed at www.foundationscotland.org.uk/pentland until June 17.

      Alternatively, Eilidh Coll can be contacted via eilidh@foundationscotland.org.uk or 07801 530218.


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