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Full application goes in for seven giant turbines near Watten village

By John Davidson

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The proposed site of the Watten wind farm with a Halsary turbine visible in the background. Picture: DGS
The proposed site of the Watten wind farm with a Halsary turbine visible in the background. Picture: DGS

A full planning application has been submitted for a seven-turbine wind farm in the heart of Caithness with turbines as high as 220 metres.

The wind farm and battery storage site at Watten is proposed by EDF Renewables UK, which said its application to Highland Council had been submitted on Monday.

It follows two local public exhibitions in June which allowed people the chance to see details of the finalised project prior to submission of the application.

Concerns had been raised at an original proposal in January when the initial plans contained eight turbines. Campaigners vowed to fight the plans and “give our concerned community a voice”.

The application will now be advertised as part of the formal consultation process, with representations from members of the public invited.

Developers say the proposed Watten wind farm would have a total generating capacity of up to 47.6MW along with a 20MW battery storage system. Lying approximately 3km to the south-west of the village, it would generate enough electricity to power up to 29,300 homes, EDF claimed.

It would consist of seven 6.6 MW turbines, with tip heights of up to 220m.

Sarah Dooley, principal project development manager in Scotland for EDF Renewables UK, said: “Throughout the process of developing this wind farm we have met with local people on a number of occasions to listen to their thoughts and concerns.

“We held a final round of public exhibitions recently to show local people the finalised design for the project. We wanted to make sure they had the full information on the application before they responded.

“If consented, this project will be a key milestone in accelerating a net-zero future and tackling climate change.”

The full application can be viewed at Watten Village Hall from noon until 7pm each day until Friday, September 1.

The closing date for representations is Friday, October 13.

EDF Renewables UK describes itself as one of the leading developers of onshore wind in the UK and operates 10 onshore wind farms across Scotland, including Corriemoillie wind farm in Ross-shire and Dorenell wind farm in Moray.

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