Work is continuing apace at the Viking Energy site, with the number of workers at the controversial 103-turbine development expected to reach 300 by the end of the year.
An update on the plans was provided by stakeholder manager Aaron Priest during Tuesday night’s meeting of the community liaison group.
Mr Priest said around 80 “locally based people” currently on site, with the workforce being made up of locally-based workers from main contractor, civil engineering firm RJ Macleod, as well as “direct employees” and SSE staff.
But he insisted that number was due to increase as activity progresses.
“Later this year the windfarm workforce will rise to nearly 300 people,” he said, adding the increase in numbers was being recorded “relatively rapidly”.
The joint workforce between Viking Energy and partner SSE – at the Kergord site – is expected to peak at over 500 in 2023.
Among the work currently being progressed is the work on the windfarm sub-station at Upper Kergord, and the excavation of 30 turbine bases.
Over 40 kilometres of track has been made out of an “overall road network” of 72km.
He said £9.6 million had been spent in the local supply chain, with almost 50 businesses “directly engaged” as contractors or suppliers.
“It gives you an indication of the level of progress that has been made.
Meanwhile, Mr Priest said the £72 million index linked community benefit fund had received 78 applications. Over 40 have already been approved, despite a slowdown over the summer months.
He said priority was given to projects closest to the windfarm development.