Councillors to consider Beatrice offshore wind farm plans

Wind turbines The plan involves constructing up 277 turbines in the Beatrice oil field

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A plan to construct up to 277 wind turbines in the Moray Firth will be considered by Highland councillors next week.

The Scottish government has sought Highland Council's views on the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (Bowl) project.

Officials at the local authority have recommended that councillors do not object to the scheme.

More than half of the turbines would be 187m (613ft) in height.

If approved, construction of the wind farm could start in 2015 and the first electricity would be exported from the site to shore by summer 2018.

Bowl is a joint partnership formed between SSE Renewables and Repsol Nuevas Energias UK.

Two experimental turbines are already sited in the Beatrice oil and gas field, the proposed location of the wind farm.

In March, Highland councillors gave their backing to plans to build what has been described as the world's largest offshore wind farm in the Outer Moray Firth.

Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd wants to construct up to 339 turbines across three offshore wind farms located 22km (13.5 miles) from the Caithness coast as part of the £4.5bn project.

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