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Developers of Dorenell Extension Wind Farm, Galileo, determined to be “good neighbours” to the Cabrach amid local concern

By Ewan Malcolm

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DEVELOPERS of a proposed wind farm on a Moray estate say they are “encouraged” by views received during a recent public consultation.

The site location.
The site location.

The Cabrach, located a few miles south of Dufftown, is already home to 77 turbines across two wind farms.

Galileo want to build up to 74 further turbines for what will become the Dorenell Extension Wind Farm.

They are also planning to restore 870 hectares of damaged and degraded peatland as part of the project.

Those proposals went before residents from the local area last month for an initial public consultation.

Jason Morin, senior project manager, said: “We have already heard support from local people for our proposals to help those living closest to the site through a local electricity discount scheme, and we have also had suggestions for assistance with local housing insulation, road repairs, connectivity and other local community enhancements.”

The Cabrach is already home to 77 turbines. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
The Cabrach is already home to 77 turbines. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

The consultation comes after developers were accused of asset stripping the area by The Cabrach Trust.

The organisation is seeking to regenerate the once thriving area and says that any further wind farm developments threaten to undermine that.

If the proposals go ahead, the Cabrach could become home to the UK’s largest onshore wind array.

And, if that happens, some residents say they will move out of the area, claiming that the “fragile community” will be decimated.

But Galileo says that it is determined to be a “good neighbour” to local communities.

Mr Morin said: “We need to factor into our work the views of local residents on the design of our proposals and how we can best ensure that the benefits these can bring to the local community are maximised.”

The company says that the wind farm will deliver the UK’s biggest onshore community benefit fund worth around £2.7 million each year.

It has also been claimed that construction of the wind farm alone would contribute £85 million to the Moray economy but The Cabrach Trust says “genuine scrutiny” is required regarding the claims.

Mr Morin added: “The size of the community benefit if our proposals go ahead is significant, around £2.7 million each year, so we wanted to encourage as many people as possible who live in the local area to give their thoughts and ideas.

“I’m grateful to all who attended and contributed views online.”

The feedback from the consultation will now be used to inform further design work with further opportunities for the public to give their views later this year.

It is expected that a planning application will be submitted to the Scottish Government in early 2025.

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