Green energy firms Infinergy and Boralex have submitted an appeal to the Department for Planning and Environmental Appeals of the Scottish Government against the decision to refuse the 7-turbine Ardtaraig Wind Farm application.
At a public hearing in Dunoon on 26th March, Argyll & Bute Council’s Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee voted 8 to 4 to refuse the scheme on the basis of potential negative impacts on landscape and tourism, in spite of the recognition by the committee Chair that the zone of theoretical visibility was “remarkable” given its limited impacts.
Esbjorn Wilmar, Managing Director of Infinergy said: “We still feel that this is an excellent scheme, particularly given its limited zone of visibility, the very good wind conditions and the lack of objection from the local communities.”
The proposal consists of 7 turbines with a grid connection contract in place for 32 MW. To maximise the renewable energy potential an additional battery storage unit has also been incorporated into the proposed design.
Ardtaraig Wind Farm comes with a community benefit fund of £5000 per MW of installed capacity, equating to at least £112,000 per year or nearly £3 million over the lifetime of the development (based on 3.2 MW turbines). In addition, up to 10% of the project will be made available to the local community as a shared ownership opportunity, giving the potential to increase the economic value of the wind farm across the Cowal Peninsula.
Infinergy and Boralex announced the execution of a 50-50 joint venture agreement in October 2017, aimed at developing a pipeline of onshore wind projects, including the Ardtaraig Wind Farm project, essentially located in Scotland for a total estimated capacity of 325 MW.