EXCLUSIVE: French and German energy developers queue up for new Scottish wind turbine farm planning approvals in Highlands, the Hebrides and Dumfries-shire, but Scots developer dumps Ayrshire development

Computer-image of the proposed new Lewis Wind Power development near Stornoway.
Computer-image of the proposed new Lewis Wind Power development near Stornoway.

Exclusive by Scottish Energy News

A number of major renewable energy developers from EU nations have submitted a range of planning applications to the Scot-Govt for permission to build new, or to extend existing, consented and/or built wind turbine farms.

  • German-owned Energiekontor UK has earmarked moorland near Lairg in Sutherland for its latest venture, which would have the potential to produce 54.6mw of electricity.

The scheme is at an early stage, with the company going through a scoping process before firming up an environmental impact study, which it would table along with a planning application.

The firm is looking to erect 13 turbines, with an blade tip height of around 588ft, on rough grazing land two-an-a-half miles from Lairg.

Andrew Mackay, chairman of Lairg Community Council, said : “The developers had hoped to put up more than three on the existing windfarm but they were cut back because of the presence of rare birds such as hen harriers and red and black throated divers –  presumably that will again be an issue this time.”

  • Lewis Wind Power – which is a joint venture by the mostly-nuclear French energy giant EDF and Aberdeen-based Wood Group – has submitted a ‘scoping application’ (which is a kind of pre-application ‘how’s about’ query) to the Scot-Govt for a wind farm in the Hebrides.

Lewis Wind Power wants to build a 33-turbine, 200-MW wind farm near Stornoway in partnership with the local Stornoway Trust.

Twenty-four of the turbines would have a blade-tip height of up to 187m and a rotor diameter of up to 164m, while the remaining nine would have a blade to tip height of up to 155m and rotor diameter of 135m.

The Wood Group is also acting as planning agent for another German-owned wind farm development in Scotland.

  • Big Six energy provider Eon wants to increase the height of the turbine towers at the Benbrack wind farm, near Dalmellington in Dumfries-shire from 130m to just under 150m.

If these ‘scoping reports’ are approved by the Scottish Energy Minister, formal S.36 planning applications – which are consequently also likely to be approved – will be submitted.

  • Meanwhile, Edinburgh-based Willowind Linfair Ltd has withdrawn its application to build a new wind turbine farm in South Ayrshire.

The company provided no reasons for its decision to withdraw its plans for its 54-MW, 17-turbine Linfair development.

25 Jul 2018


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