Orkney Island Council has cut one turbine from its proposed 28MW Hoy wind farm following scoping.

The local authority had originally proposed a seven machine, 34MW development but has now slimmed it down to feature six turbines up to 149.9m.

There has been no change to tip heights for the proposals on the island of Hoy, in the south west of the island group off the north of Scotland.

The council is to offer one-on-one Skype meetings as part of its pre-application consultation for the proposed wind farm after being forced to call off planned in-person events in March due to the coronavirus crisis.

It plans to hold an interactive webinar event on 28 May as well as offering telephone calls and skype presentations to discuss the scheme.

The local authority is looking to build three wind farms as part of its Community Wind Farm project, aiming to get the islands closer to the capacity target for a new interconnector as well as bridging its own budget gap and supporting decarbonisation.

A six-turbine project at Quanterness on Orkney’s main island has already gone into planning and been “called-in” by the Scottish government on the authority’s request, while another seven turbine project on the uninhabited island of Faray is still in scoping.

Bird populations is thought to be one of the challenges for the proposed Hoy project.

The Scottish government recently passed emergency legislation to allow developers to carry out planning consultation without the need for face-to-face public events during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Council’s Strategic Projects Director Sweyn Johnston said his team was disappointed they had been unable to carry out a public event in Hoy.

He said the emergency legislation was vital in keeping projects on track and supporting recovery but it was important the public could have their views known before plans were submitted.

“We have worked hard to develop a consultation plan which gives as much flexibility as possible to allow folk to provide that input and are hopeful for a high level of participation.”



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