Tiree wind farm project 'on hold' for 12 months

Wind turbine There are concerns the project could affect marine life and migratory birds

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Plans for an offshore wind farm near Tiree have been delayed by ScottishPower Renewables.

The company said the Argyll Array scheme had been put on hold for 12 months.

The firm said it would use the time to study reports on the potential environmental impact of the project, alongside other agencies.

There are concerns it could affect basking sharks and seabirds, including Great Northern Divers.

The RSPB has previously said the area is rich in marine life, with dolphins, killer whales and basking sharks all sighted around the island.

It said the area is also regularly used by foraging and passage seabirds and other migratory bird species.

The Argyll Array site is located 5km off the coast of Tiree, and covers about 360 square kilometres.

A lease for the offshore site was granted by the Crown Estate in October last year.

But ScottishPower Renewables said its plans had now been halted for a year.

Environmental studies

A spokesman said: "ScottishPower Renewables has put the Argyll Array wind farm project on hold for 12 months.

"During this period, the company, acting as a responsible developer, will work alongside other agencies to study the results of initial detailed environmental studies of the project area.

"The pause in the project programme will also enable the company to monitor the industry's progress in relation to improvements in turbine, foundation and vessel technology, with a view to developing a technical solution that is fit for purpose in dealing with the physical characteristics of this site."

Following the announcement, the No Tiree Array campaign said: "We are asking ScottishPower Renewables what exactly this announcement means.

"Does it mean a further 12-month delay in any planning application? Or does it mean SPR is considering abandoning the project?"

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