EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News
Norway’s Olsen Renewables has made a second application in its bid to win permission to build a wind-power electricity generating station in a Scottish forest after the Brit-Govt cut subsidies for two years ago.
Yesterday, it announced that it had also cut the number of wind-turbines proposed for the Fetteresso forest wind farm, five miles west of Stonehaven.
It has submitted an application for a ‘scoping document’ – which is a precursor to a full bid for planning permission for a project with 10 turbines with blade-tip heights of 200 metres.
An Olsen spokesman explained: “Fetteresso Wind Farm was originally proposed in 2015 allowing some early stage surveys and discussions with Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.
“This original proposal was for a 17-turbine project, which extended the wind farm to the east of the existing development at Mid Hill.
“However, following the removal of financial support for onshore wind projects < in Brit-Govt’s Rudd Review>, a review was also subsequently undertaken on the proposed Fetteresso Wind Farm layout to ensure the scheme is viable and efficiency is maximised.
“This review has taken into account planning, landscape and environmental factors as well as giving close attention to the wind energy resource and potential energy yield of the proposed development.
“Consequently, following this review the current layout is now for 10 turbines, located in close proximity to the existing Mid Hill Wind Farm.”
The proposed development is located on land owned by the Scot-Govt. and managed on its behalf by Forest Enterprise Scotland. The site is contained within Fetteresso Forest in the Grampian mountain range in Aberdeenshire.
The proposed development comprise up to 10 wind turbines, with 4 at 200m to tip height, 3 at 180m to tip height and 3 at 149.9 m to tip height, along with turbine foundations, crane support pads, access tracks and an external transformer housing.
The contract for the specific turbine manufacturer has not yet been selected but it is anticipated to be similar in design (although larger) to the nearby Mid Hill Wind Farm wind turbines. Mid Hill Wind Farm – approved in October 2013 has eight German-built 2.3 MW turbines.
Another pre-application ‘scoping request’ – a necessary step required before a formal submission for planning application can be made – was also submitted to the Scot-Govt yesterday submitted by Coriolis Energy.
The Maidenhead, Berks, agency is acting on behalf of Garvary Wind Farm Ltd, which wants to build a new wind farm in Sutherland between Bonar Bridge and Lairg.
Although Highlands Council is the local planning authority, it will have no say in deciding whether the bid is approved or not as this is a Section 36 application.
The Garvary wind farm will have a generating capacity of between 50 – 100 MW capacity.
Neither it nor Coriolis Energy responded to requests from Scottish Energy News for further details.
But the agents’ application states: “Wind development is already an established characteristic of the general surroundings of the site, with existing developments including the three-turbine Lairg wind farm to the north, and the larger Rosehall and Achany developments to the west across the River Shin.
“And consent has also recently been granted for an 18-turbine development at Braemore to the west of the proposed Garvary development site.
Meanwhile, Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, MSP, has rejected an appeal by RES for permission to build a new 14-turbine wind-farm power station at Annabaglish, near Glenluce in Dumfries-shire.
Wheelhouse said it would have a “significant” impact on the landscape, adding that the scale of the development’s contribution towards renewable energy targets was ‘not enough to outweigh its negative effects’.