Request made for the Orkney wind farm on an uninhabited island
The Orkney Islands Council (OIC) has submitted its planning request for a six-turbine wind farm on the uninhabited island of Faray.
The project is one of a trio of proposed wind farms that make up the Orkney Community Wind Farm Project.
The developments would help trigger the installation of a new interconnection between Orkney and the mainland.
An independent report commissioned by the council said the link, which has been conditionally approved by Ofgem, could be worth more than £ 800 a year for each islander over the next 45 years.
The other two wind farms proposed by the council would be built at Quanterness in St Ola and Wee Fea in Hoy.
Faray is the last to reach the development request submission stage.
The town bought Faray in January 2019 with a view to exploiting its “strategic development potential”.
It is 10.5 miles northeast of mainland Orkney, and about 15.5m from Kirkwall.
The site boundary includes the entire island, from which the last residents are believed to have left in the late 1940s.
Ordnance Survey mapping suggests that Faray has several “relic structures”, old farms and cottages, an ancient road and a cemetery.
A small jetty is located on the southeast coast.
The council submitted documents to the local planning authority for the land-based parts of the development, including the turbines and associated infrastructure.
The turbines would have a blade tip height of 490 feet, providing a total production capacity of 28 megawatts.
Applications for a maritime license have been made with Marine Scotland for works such as the construction of a new extended slipway and landing jetty.
As part of this process, an environmental impact study was carried out.
A 30-day consultation on the project is now in place.
As with Hoy and Quanterness, there will be a demand for Scottish ministers to “appeal” to Faray’s candidacy on “grounds of national importance”, giving them the responsibility of either giving the green light or rejecting the project.
The turbines are of a size never before seen on Orkney, with all parties weighing the impact of that with the potential for major benefits for the islands.
Recommended for you
ScotWind – one day from the end, who are the runners and the runners?