Consent has been granted for two wind farms that will power over 100,000 homes and deliver community benefits of over £28 million.
SSE Renewables (SSER), the renewable energy development division of SSE, welcomes the decision by Scottish Ministers to consent an extension to its existing Clyde wind farm, situated between Biggar, Abington and Moffat on the South Lanarkshire and Scottish Borders boundary.
The 54 turbine extension is expected to have a generation capacity of around 162MW, depending on turbine rating. The site is located to the north-east of the 350MW operational Clyde wind farm creating a natural in-fill between the north and central sections of the existing site.
Colin Nicol, SSE’s Lead Director of Wholesale Generation Development said:
“We are pleased to have secured consent for the Clyde extension project; an important development in our portfolio. In our responsible approach to developing this project we worked closely with local communities and stakeholders to listen and act upon their concerns, we reduced the number of turbines and their location and tip height and we will use existing wind farm infrastructure where possible to minimise any impact.
“This project is expected to bring significant benefits to the region through direct and indirect employment, skills training and over £20m of long-term support for community projects from the community benefit fund. During the construction phase, we estimate that the project could contribute as much as £121.1m to the Scottish economy and is expected, on average, to support around 500 jobs in Scotland through our supply chain contracts.
“We will continue to keep the local community, local businesses and local stakeholders updated as we work to progress with development and address the planning conditions associated with the consent to enable us to make our final investment decision later this year.”
In the other wind farm, ScottishPower Renewables is the company which will build the 23 wind turbine farm at DersallochHill in South Ayrshire.
Construction will commence later on this year. The main wind farm site is located 4km east of Straiton and was one of the earliest projects that ScottishPower Renewables considered for development. Initial studies commenced in 2003, and the planning application was submitted in April 2005.
Early plans were scaled back due to landscape and visual concerns by Scottish Natural Heritage, and subsequently the company has been working closely with Glasgow Prestwick Airport to agree a mitigation solution to ensure the integrity of its air traffic control systems are not compromised.
Beyond this, the project team has worked closely with Historic Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, The University of Leeds, The Scottish Government and the people of South Ayrshire over a number of years.
Simon Christian, UK Managing Director, ScottishPower Renewables said:
“After a lot of hard work and significant effort right across our company for many years, we are delighted to see this consent issued by The Scottish Government. Dersalloch has always had the potential to be a significant renewable energy project
“We have overcome a number of obstacles, negotiating on a wide range of technical and environmental issues, and we look forward now to starting construction at Dersalloch later this year. This will create opportunities for local business to become involved, with associated positive economic benefit within the local area, as well as seeing the project make an important contribution to Scotland’s green energy targets.”
As part of ScottishPower Renewables’ commitment to the community around Dersalloch, a fund will be set up to support local projects. An overall community benefit of the equivalent of £5,000/MW of installed capacity will be provided, generating up to £8.6m over the project lifetime.
ScottishPower Renewables currently has approximately 1,440MW of onshore wind generation capacity in the UK, including the most recently completed projects, the 136MW Harestanes windfarm in Dumfries and Galloway and the 44MW Beinn an Tuirc Extension windfarm in Argyll & Bute .
This year is also expected to see the completion of the 389MW, £1.6 billion, West of Duddon Sands offshorewindfarm. This project is being developed jointly with DONG Energy, and is located in the East Irish Sea, south west of Barrow-in-Furness.
“These two wind farms will create jobs both in their construction, and during their lifetime. Once they are up and running, the wind farms will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and will be able to produce enough electricity to power thousands of homes.
“The Dersalloch wind farm and the Clyde Extension will create around £28.8 million during its lifetime – a remarkable amount for the local communities.
“As well as bringing benefits to the local community, the Clyde Extension will also benefit the wider region through the provision of a Local Community Fund.
“The community packages that have been offered by both these developers will bring considerable benefits to the local communities.
“Scotland is already providing over a third of the UK’s renewable electricity generation and helping to keep the lights on across our islands at a time where there is an increasingly tight gap between electricity supply and demand.”
Pictured are (r) part of the Clyde wind farm and (l) Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism