Scottish Borders Council rejects Irish-funded 21MW Airvolution windfarm on environmental grounds

airvolution_logoBy DARA BUTTERFIELD

Borders Council has rejected Airvolution Energy’s proposed windfarm that could have brought more than £3.9m to the area over its 25 year lifetime.

London-based Airvolution is owned by ESB Novusmodus – the €200m clean-tech and renewable fund solely funded by ESB, Ireland’s electricity utility.

The Muircleugh project was rejected unanimously on concerns that it would have a negative effect on the environment and cultural heritage. Noise issues were also among the reasons for the rejection.

In a statement Airvolution said: “As far as wind farm sites go, this is an ideal site and harnessing wind would have been the most productive and cost-effective solution with the smallest footprint.

“The seven turbines would have met the electricity demands for over 12,000 homes each year, and brought a significant benefits package worth in excess of £3.9m to the region over the 25-year lifetime of the project. This would have included a fund of £105,000 each year going to local communities.

“Local businesses would have benefited from local investment of a further £1.3m from Airvolution’s commitment to source 45% of the construction work in the Borders and approximately 65% in the wider area of South Scotland.

“We will review the Council’s decision in more detail before considering our options.”

Airvolution Energy planned to install seven turbines of up to 3 MW between the towns of Lauder and Stow in the Berwickshire county. It filed a planning application for the scheme in September 2014. According to the developer’s estimates, the Muircleugh wind park could have generated about 51,509 MWh of electricity per year.

The planned output would have been enough to meet the annual demand of around 12,500 homes and save up to 22,150 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed