Buckie Harbour could be in line for a further financial windfall from a proposed offshore wind farm.
Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (Morl) will hold a consultation about building turbines 25 miles off the coast of the town.
Despite the approval of the Beatrice development last month already giving the town a boost, Buckie councillor Gordon McDonald said the Morl turbines were the ones the harbour had been “pinning its hopes” on.
He said: “This is the one that Buckie has been waiting on. The consultation means it is still progressing, which is good because there has been some delays.
“Buckie could be a base for maintenance and operation of the field, basically a smaller version of what Wick has got. It could mean a large number of jobs at the harbour.”
Mr McDonald added: “The consultation will look at the size of the turbines. I don’t see how it’s an issue. Obviously they’ll be welcome if they want to come.”
Morl was granted permission to build the eastern section of the Moray Firth field two years ago. The firm expects that up to 90 turbines could be built off the coast of Buckie.
The development, which will be built next to the eastern section, still needs a licence from the UK Government.
Dan Finch, director of offshore for parent company EDPR, said: “We are announcing proposals to develop the western area of our site to maximise renewable energy generation in the zone which was allocated to us by the Crown Estate.
“This can create a pipeline of offshore wind projects in the Moray Firth, and associated opportunities for the local economy.”
Morl’s consultation will determine the support for the project. It is expected that enough electricity will be generated to power about 470,000 homes.
The firm has published an environmental impact of the development.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “We have always stated that to realise and harness Scotland’s offshore renewable wealth we must do so in a sustainable way, that ensures communities can also benefit from the new economic opportunities presented by this sector.”
There will be a series of consultation on the wind farm from the end of July to August, but details are still being finalised.