A proposed wind farm in Nairnshire has been approved by Scottish ministers.
Cairn Duhie Wind Farm near Ferness, designed by Renewable Energy Systems (RES), is a revised 16-turbine scheme.
First proposals, submitted in 2013, saw a 20-turbine scheme for the site approved but RES revised the design in 2020.
The amended plan reduces the number of turbines to 16 but increases the blade tip height to 491 ft.
After objections from Highland Council, a public inquiry took place and Scottish ministers have now given proposals the green light.
Cairn Duhie Wind Farm the perfect home, says project manager
RES project manager Craig Smith believes Cairn Duhie is an “excellent site” for the new wind farm.
He said: “We’ve worked hard to carefully design an optimised scheme that maximises the volume of low cost renewable energy.
“We’re delighted with the consent and pleased that the merits of the revised scheme have been recognised.
“As we continue on this decade, we will only see the energy transition accelerate.
“With projects like Cairn Duhie also having a crucial role in delivering social, economic and environmental benefits to local communities.”
When submitting the proposal four years ago, RES said it would be capable of producing low-cost, renewable energy for around 52,000 homes.
The energy firm is working with locals to ensure they see benefits of the project.
Mr Smith said conversations have seen support for its local electricity discount scheme for residents closest to the project.
£4.4 million inward investment expected
The approved project will see jobs, employment, and the use of local services will add huge amounts of inward investment.
Mr Smith said: “At Cairn Duhie we’ve predicted that the project will deliver around £4.4 million of inward investment during construction and the first year of operation.
“We’ve got a track record of using local companies to help construct our projects.
“We’ll be building on our current knowledge of the local skills and experience available in Nairnshire and the wider Highlands as we head towards construction.”
RES will now take time to review and discharge any planning conditions, before delivering an additional 67.2 megawatts of renewable energy towards the Scottish and UK Government targets.