If approved, the wind farm, which is planned to be built on 35km of Tiree’s coastline, will have between 180 and 300 turbine units 5km off the shore.

Campaign group, No Tiree Array (NTA), has been protesting against the project for the past two years claiming that the proposed wind farm will put the areas basking sharks at risk. The group is also concerned about the visual impact and light pollution.

The project, called the Argyll Array, has been put on hold for 18 months so that further information can be obtained on the wind farms potential impact on the areas wildlife.

Senior Project Manager at Scottish Power Renewables, Ralph Thornton told edie: “Scottish Power Renewables is carrying out comprehensive surveys in the area to better understand the site including the marine ecology. This work is necessary for any proposed development and we’re happy to add to the growing information base particularly around Basking Sharks.

“The survey activity is on-going and when concluded the data will be evaluated and shared with all relevant stakeholders. This information will then shape the design of the wind farm and our future planning application for the Argyll Array.”

The Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is also conducting a basking shark survey of the area, which is part of an environmental study to gain a Marine Protection Area (MPA) status.

The NTA website says: “Tracking details have impressively revealed [the area is a] basking shark location, confirming Tiree and Skerryvore, as a UK basking shark hot spot”.

Leigh Stringer

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