Fairwind Statkraft Orkney Ltd (FSOL) is proposing to develop a relatively large (126 MW) renewable energy development in Orkney. Based initially on onshore wind capacity, the scheme envisages a collection of medium-sized clusters of 2 to 3 MW wind turbines. A grid connection for the project has been secured and work on the planning process is ongoing.
A wide range of potentially suitable sites has been identified. The first stage of the selection process was to engage with local communities in the priority areas to establish the level of local support for, or concern about, such a development. Aquatera was commissioned by FSOL to provide a broad range of services to support this engagement process. In particular, Aquatera has provided visualisation tools, site screening information, information leaflets and opinion questionnaires, and has helped organise events for early public consultation.
The aim was to directly involve local communities in evaluating how they could best benefit from the development, if it occurred, and to ensure that substantial benefits would accrue across the community. At the same time, it was necessary to work to protect the valuable wildlife, habitat and landscape interests of Orkney from unsuitable development. This was covered through some initial baseline work that is described separately.