Second Round of Open days for £110m Limekiln Wind Farm proposal in Caithness

The community in and around Reay will have a second opportunity to see revised proposals for the Limekiln wind farm proposal at open days organised by green energy developers Infinergy next week.

The company is holding community open days at Reay Village Hall on Thursday 24th May and Friday 25th May, from 2pm to 8pm.

The open days will give local people the opportunity to view and comment on the draft plans and the project team will be on hand to listen to answer questions. A 3D model of the site and its surroundings will be available for viewing, allowing visitors to assess views of the wind farm from virtually anywhere.

Those turbines closest to the village of Reay have been reduced in height following initial community feedback at a similar event in March, which was attended by around 130 people, and the number. In addition, the number of wind turbines proposed has been reduced from 26 to 24.

This will reduce the installed electricity generating capacity of the scheme from 78 to 72 megawatts (MW), but the site will still be capable of powering an impressive 36,000 homes – equivalent to 35% of all Highland households – and displacing around 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

As part of the proposal, Infinergy is offering an industry-leading community benefit package worth £5,000 per MW – a total of £360,000 per year or £9million over the 25 year lifetime of the project.

This week [Tuesday May 15th], Infinergy convened the first meeting of a Community Liaison Forum around the Limekiln project, bringing together representatives from key groups including Caithness West Community Council, Caithness Chamber of Commerce and North Highland College UHI. The group discussed potential models for how the community benefit fund could work in practice and the strategic priorities it could be directed towards. The groups’ involvement in the forum does not prejudice whatever eventual opinion they may choose to take on the planning application for Limekiln.

Fiona Milligan, Project Manager at Infinergy, said:

“Our open days in March were extremely well attended and we’re hoping people in and around Reay will pop in to see the progress we’ve made since then.

“Clearly, people have a range of different opinions about the Limekiln proposal, but we want to hear as many views as possible as we approach the planning submission, so that we can take as much feedback into account as possible.

“In particular, we’d like to hear more ideas about how the £9million community benefit fund associated with the project could be used to support key local priorities such as economic regeneration, skills training and enterprise. This will give us a blueprint for the long-lasting legacy which we want the wind farm to create if it gets the go-ahead.”

The site is located around 1.8km south of Reay, and 2.8km south/southwest of the existing Dounreay Power Station.

A part of the detailed technical studies which must accompany the eventual planning application, Infinergy is conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to address what effects the wind farm might have on the existing and future environment and what can be done to avoid or mitigate any adverse effects.

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