Plans for a new windfarm in Birsay have been submitted to Orkney Islands Council.  The Nisthill Windfarm proposal has been developed by farmers Paul Archibald of Nisthouse and Adrian Breck of Ludenhill, along with renewable energy developer Infinergy Ltd.

The four-turbine development will be situated on the farmland of Nisthouse and Ludenhill, between the Loch of Swannay and the Loch of Hundland, with a proposed 40-year lifespan.

In all, the four 180 metre-to-tip turbines will have an installed capacity of 26.4MW is expected to generate a significant amount of renewable energy thanks to the strong and persistent Orcadian winds, enough to power up to 23,500 homes.  The project will also enable a community benefit fund of £5 million over the lifespan of the project.

Mr Breck and Mr Archibald have been considering and working on the Nisthill project for two and a half years, taking it as far as they could on their own before teaming up with specialist developer, Infinergy, towards the end of last year.

Mr Breck said of the project: “both Paul and I are delighted to have reached this major milestone.  Such renewable energy projects bring huge benefits to communities, not only in terms of community benefit funds, but also their wider positive impacts. This proposed wind farm will help bring much needed work to the islands across a whole range of different sectors.”

Kari Clouston, the Infinergy Project Manager working on the project said: “It has been a huge privilege to work with Adrian and Paul to help take this proposal forwards to application. We’re all very grateful to members of the community who have shown interest in the proposals.  Adrian, Paul and Infinergy are particularly keen to ensure the local community benefit directly from the wind farm, should it be consented. I also believe in the need for more home grown and affordable renewable energy and therefore also the need for this wind farm has never been greater. It will help to make us less reliant on expensive gas, will bring energy bills down and it will contribute to the fight against climate change.”

As with Orkney’s other windfarms, the export of the energy will depend upon the needs case for the new interconnector cable being met. The energy regulator, Ofgem, has set a December deadline for 135MW of projects to be underway in the county, for them to then give the go ahead to install the cable that will connect Orkney with the Scottish mainland.  With an installed capacity of 26.4MW from just four turbines, Nisthill Wind farm will make a significant contribution.

Should the project be granted permission, it is currently anticipated that construction would commence no earlier than 2025.

All application documents can be found in the ‘downloads‘ section of this site.