A fund to help planning authorities deal with large numbers of wind farm applications has been opened.
The Scottish Government is providing £300,000 for those authorities experiencing a significant rise in the number of planning applications for wind turbines.
It comes after Aberdeenshire and Fife Councils asked for a temporary halt to new applications earlier this year, after being deluged by proposals from developers.
From the fund, £280,000 will go directly to the authorities, and £20,000 will be used by Government to monitor how the money has been spent, find out the most effective approaches, and provide advice for the future.
Councils can bid for a share of the money either individually or in groups, by providing evidence that they are among those with the greatest need.
The cash could be spent on speeding up the turnaround of advice on noise or landscape impacts, or employing more staff to process applications.
Planning Minister Derek Mackay said: "We know that some planning authorities are experiencing particularly high volumes of applications for wind turbines, and the funding will help by bringing in expertise, or more staff, to deal with the applications.
"I have made clear that I do not think a moratorium on wind turbine applications is appropriate but would cause undue delay and uncertainty for everyone involved in applications. But I do recognise that some planning authorities are currently facing particularly high numbers of applications. This funding will help them deal with this."
Earlier this year Aberdeenshire Council asked for a six-month moratorium on applications for wind farms after the authority received 800 applications in 14 months.
Fife Council called for a temporary halt to applications two months later in June, due to the pressure being put on planners by large numbers of plans being put forward.