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Ardhasaig-based Monan Wind Company Limited has taken the first steps to replace its three wind turbines with the larger 86-metre models the company was originally granted consent to install.

The clean energy company has submitted a screening request to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar on the scope of an environmental impact assessment to replace the three existing turbines at Monan Ardhasaig.

Currently, the wind turbines measure 46 metres metre to the blade tip. But Monan Wind Company Limited, based at Ceann An Ora, Ardhasaig, now wishes to ‘repower’ the site with three new wind turbines measuring up to 86 metres to the blade tip.

The request for screening states the magnitude of change to the landscape caused by the proposed turbines is thought to be minimal, given the presence of the existing wind farm. A comparison document submitted claims very little difference in theoretical visibility.

It states: “A comparison Zones of Theoretical Visibility of the height of the ‘as built’ turbines and the proposed repowering turbines shows very little increase in theoretical visibility. There will be very few places where wind turbines would be visible after construction that do not have visibility of the current wind turbines at present. The magnitude of change and spatial extent of views is not considered to be significant.”

The submission goes on that any future planning application would be accompanied by a full assessment of potential environmental impacts from the proposed development, including landscape and visual, ecology and hydrology.

Monan Wind Company Limited added: “It is understood from pre-application responses that ornithology surveys in relation to the presence of eagles and Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments would form the main potential impacts of the proposal. A peat survey and hydrology would also be undertaken.”

It is proposed to instal the new turbines in “very close proximity” to the current turbine positions and use the existing access tracks.