Plans have been lodged for a nine-turbine windfarm that promises to reduce electricity bills for local islanders.

The proposals for the windfarm in the north of the Isle of Skye have been submitted to the Highland Council with promises of reduced bills and community ownership for islanders.

The Plans for the Ben Sca windfarm, located 1.2 miles south of Edinbane and 4.3 miles east of Dunvegan, were submitted by Wind2, and included the offer of reduced energy bills to those living within 4km of the development.

It will include reductions through a contribution to residents’ electricity bills of an estimated £400 or home energy efficiency grants.

There will also be a single lump sum of £4,500 to fund or part fund measures to improve the energy efficiency and decarbonisation of their home as part of a £5,000 per KW package the firm estimates could generate up to £5.67 million to the area over 30 years.

The UK renewable energy company has staff based in the Highlands, Perth, Edinburgh and North Wales and has been working on the development of the nearby Ben Aketil windfarm.

Wind2 Development Director Fraser Mackenzie, said: “Over the last two years, personnel from Wind2 have met with various members of local communities and conducted detailed environmental and technical studies prior to the submission of the planning application for Ben Sca Wind Farm.

“We believe that our project can deliver significant social, economic and environmental benefits to the Isle of Skye and the wider Highland economy.

“We know that we will be able to build and operate this wind farm without any subsidy whilst also reducing the electricity bills of those in the immediate area and delivering other projects of benefit to the community through our proposed community benefit fund.

“There was clear feedback from those who attended the exhibitions and from those we spoke to on the doorstep in and around Edinbane that energy costs were a real concern.

“Our energy discount proposal is a practical and tangible response to this message”.

With an installed capacity of around 38 MW, the proposed Ben Sca Wind Farm would be delivered without any public subsidy, with the potential to generate around 130,500 Megawatt hours of electricity per annum, sufficient to meet the needs of around 34,500 average UK homes.

The windfarm would comprise nine wind turbines, each with a maximum blade tip height of 135 metres to tip.

As part of the planning process, Wind2 conducted a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which examined the landscape and visual, cultural heritage, ecological and transportation aspects of the project for the local area.

The company consulted with local people including two public exhibitions in Edinbane and Dunvegan, held meetings with community councils and development trusts as well as hand delivering information on the project and the electricity discount scheme to near neighbours to the site in Edinbane during November 2019. Mr Mackenzie added:

“We also hope to continue the dialogue that we have started with the help of Local Energy Scotland and the local development Trusts, towards a community ownership share in the project.”

“I want to thank everyone who came to one of our exhibitions, community council and development trust meetings.

“Our plans are now in for determination by The Highland Council and we hope they will feel able to grant us permission to deliver the benefits the Ben Sca windfarm can bring to the Isle of Skye.”

The windfarm will be situated in an area that saw a bitter battle to halt a 27-turbine windfarm.

Edinbane windfarm was subject to various legal challenges and saw the 160 strong local community bitterly divided before it finally opened in 2010.

Meanwhile a community in the Shetland Isles has been fighting to stop the construction of a massive windfarm they fear could shatter the island’s fragile biodiversity.

When the multi-million pound Viking Wind Farm was proposed in 2005, it was presented to the islanders as a community-owned enterprise with the potential to earn them £37 million a year.

But concerns over the 145ft-turbines being built on pristine peatland and the infrastructure required to construct them, as well as the approval of the windfarm without a Public Local Inquiry, has led hundreds of locals to raise £200,000 to challenge the farm’s planning consent, resulting in a hearing at London’s Supreme Court.