Councillors back Beatrice offshore wind farm plans

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

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Highland councillors have decided to raise no objection to a proposal to construct up to 277 wind turbines off the Caithness coast in the Moray Firth.

The Scottish government, which has the final say in the scheme, sought Highland Council's views on the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project.

Officials at the local authority had recommended that councillors did not object to it.

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.

Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited 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 development.

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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