By David Kerr

A French firm has bought the rights to develop a controversial Ross-shire
windfarm project.

EDF Energy Renewables has agreed to acquire the Corriemoillie scheme, which
is due to be built near Garve.

Highland Council granted permission in April 2011 for windfarm to be built
at the Corriemoillie Forest, but the site has never been developed.

The scheme would have 19 turbines, each 410ft tall.

EDF has bought the site from rival energy company E.ON Climate and Renewables.

The new owners say they are now aiming to “build the project as soon as
possible” and claim it could generate 45MW, enough to power about 24,000 homes.

Matthieu Hue, director of onshore wind at EDF Energy Renewables, said:
“This is an excellent project and we are pleased to be adding it to our
growing portfolio.

“We are keen to start construction at the site and will first take the
opportunity to meet and talk with local people about our building plans and
how we intend to work with and support the wider community throughout the
life of the project.”

The Corriemoillie windfarm would be immediately adjacent to, and share
access with, the existing 17-turbine Lochluichart development.

During the planning process the proposals proved controversial and
attracted more than 500 letters of objection.

A number of objectors protested outside the local authority planning
committee meeting when it was granted permission, claiming the development
would have a detrimental impact on the visual landscape and protected
species, as well as tourism.

Highland Council planning officer, David Mudie, said the development’s
impact on its surroundings would not be “significantly detrimental” and
could be controlled through a number of measures and imposed conditions as
part of the planning permission.

Members voted unanimously to grant planning permission.

French-owned EDF Energy Renewables describes itself as one of the UK’s
leading renewable energy companies.

It is focussed on the development, construction and operation of onshore
and offshore wind farms and already operates schemes generating more than 550MW.

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