Councillors have given their support to plans for a new solar farm near Foveran.
Renewable Connections Developments had applied to Aberdeenshire Council seeking permission for the development on land at Kincraig.
The 88-acre site, located just 1km from the north-east village, is expected to generate 21 mega watts (MW) of energy.
It is expected to be in operation for the next 40 years.
The new development will include solar panels, 18 battery storage units and a substation.
Agents Wardell Armstrong said the solar farm would make a “significant contribution towards meeting renewable energy targets, not only locally but for the whole of the UK”.
They also said the project would provide “valuable inward investment to the local community” through energy production and jobs created though the site’s construction and ongoing maintenance.
Sheep will be placed on the site to graze once the solar panels are up and running.
Attempts to create a woodland on the proposed solar farm site had taken place back in 2000 but many of the plantings failed.
The site will now be cleared to make way for the solar development.
The major application was considered by the Formartine area committee earlier today.
Some concern was raised over potential glint and glare from the sun shining on the panels but members were told this wouldn’t be a “significant” issue.
Councillor Isobel Davidson asked for biodiversity monitoring while the site is in operation.
She also asked for details of the proposed temporary boundary fencing to ensure its materials are as sustainable as possible.
Meanwhile councillor Louise McAllister said the proposal was “really exciting”.
She added: “As we look to the future and look for more sustainable means of producing electricity and power its got to be welcomed from that perspective alone.”
Voicing his support for the application councillor Derek Ritchie said: “We really need to embrace the energy of the sun and solar power probably is the way forward to do this.
“We need to embrace this technology and I think this is a fantastic idea.”
Councillors unanimously agreed to approve a delegated grant but asked for an extra condition to monitor biodiversity on the site every five years.
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