GO AHEAD FOR LOCHLUICHART WIND FARM
A wind farm capable of supplying electricity for 23,000 homes has been approved.
The 17 turbine Lochluichart wind farm near Dingwall will have a generating capacity of 51 Megawatts.
Energy Minister Jim Mather said:
"The Lochluichart wind farm is a significant step in our drive to make Scotland the green energy capital of Europe. We have enough renewables potential to generate 10 times Scotland's peak electricity demand using clean, green energy from onshore and offshore wind, wave and tidal, wood fuel and water sources.
"Onshore wind plays a significant part in that mix, and as our record of approving 17 renewables projects shows, we want to approve good projects, in the right places, in harmony with the environment and with benefits for communities.
"There will be economic benefits from the Lochluichart wind farm, with around 100 construction jobs and full time jobs when the scheme is operational. This is exactly the type of project we need to drive our renewables ambitions for Scotland."
The consent, decision letter and statutory consultation responses can be found on the Energy Consents website at this link.
MORE POWER FROM HYDRO SCHEMES
Two new hydro schemes capable of powering over 3500 homes have been approved by the Government.
The 3.5 Megawatt Black Rock scheme, near Evanton in Ross-shire, will supply electricity for over 2000 homes.
The 2.5 Megawatt scheme on Allt Coire Chaorach, near Crianlarich, will power over 1500 homes.
Energy Minister Jim Mather said:
"Harnessing new hydro power brings economic benefits while reducing emissions and there is a commercial future in the huge untapped hydro potential up and down Scotland.
"These two schemes are prime examples - operating in harmony with the environment, they will be able to power over 3500 homes - a tangible demonstration that new hydro power has a bright future in Scotland.
"We are determined to exploit all of Scotland's diverse renewables potential and we will continue to support sustainable hydro development - large and small - to tackle climate change and contribute to economic growth."
CONSULTATION ON THE CONSENTING PROCESS FOR THERMAL POWER STATIONS
A consultation has been announced for a draft of guidance note for applications made under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 to develop or extend a thermal power station. In developing Scottish Ministers expectations on clean energy we would welcome consultee comments on questions relating to Carbon Capture Readiness. Scottish Ministers would also welcome comments on whether any other approaches to reducing carbon emissions should be considered. It is intended that following the results of this consultation we will produce formal guidance on Scottish Ministers expectations in relation to CCR and reducing carbon emissions, the information requirements of the consenting process and the assessment of the CCR capability of a development. The draft guidance for consultation can be found at this link.
KYLE WIND FARM WOULD AFFECT PRESTWICK RADAR - NEW APPLICATION INVITED
The Scottish Government has refused permission for the Kyle wind farm due to impacts on aviation safety and on the landscape.
Ministers agreed with the report of the public inquiry that the development would affect the safe operation of radar at Prestwick airport and have significant landscape and visual impacts.
The decision letter, PLI report and other material can be found at the Kyle decision index page.
GUIDANCE FOR DEVELOPERS - ADVERT PITFALLS
When making Section 36 applications, developers are advised to take care to avoid the following pitfalls involving adverts:
- Not submitting draft to Energy Consents prior to advert
- Not providing documents at location on time
- Putting wrong dates in advert
- Poor choice of public locations
- Not factoring in public holidays
GO AHEAD FOR KELTNEY BURN HYDRO
Ministers have approved a new hydro station in Perthshire capable of powering 1300 homes.
The Keltney Burn run of river scheme near Aberfeldy will have a capacity of two Megawatts.
Energy Minister Jim Mather said: "This is a tangible demonstration that new hydro power has a bright future in Scotland. This scheme will meet the demand of around 1300 homes and is a step towards our tough targets for renewable electricity.
The decision letter, consent, and related documents can be found at this link.
GUIDANCE ON THE ELECTRICITY (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT)(SCOTLAND) AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 2008
Supplementary EIA guidance to support Energy Act 1989 Section 36 and 37 applications in Scotland has just been issued. This document is available to developers, planning authorities, stakeholders and the public at this link.
FORESTRY COMMISSION SCOTLAND - NEW WOODLAND REMOVAL POLICY
In June 2008, in support of the Government's Scottish Forestry Strategy the Forestry Commission Scotland has developed a policy on the control of woodland removal. Scottish Ministers will be mindful of this policy in determining applications made under Section 36.
GAELIC ADVERT GOOD PRACTICE DRAFT
It is vital that new projects promote community engagement in planning process and ensure that barriers to this engagement are minismised. It is therefore good practice that developers when applying for Electricity Act consent in areas where Gaelic is predominantely spoken, to place all public notices regarding the development in both the English and Gaelic languages. To assist developers, new examples of translated templates can be found at this link (although it is for the developer to ensure that the public notice for their development are translated correctly).
LONGANNET POWER STATION - FGD APPROVAL
The proposed Flue Gas Desulphurisation work for Longannet Power Station in Fife has been approved, to be undertaken as a variation to the existing consent. The decision letter with basic conditions dated August 2008, and the previous consent dated February 1995, can be found at this link.
USE OF SUSPENSIVE CONDITIONS
The Energy Consents Unit has been asked a number of times to clarify the position on whether suspensive conditions would be used to consent s36 applications while leaving the resolution of any outstanding aviation and radar issues to a later stage. As we wrote to Airtricity and NATS in respect of the Clyde Windfarm application in October last year, it is important that any such conditions which require subsequent approval by Scottish Ministers need to provide specification of the nature and extent of the mitigation measures required. It is also important that there is clarity about the identification of the type of solution or solutions to be developed and that there is agreement between the developer and the relevant operator that such a solution can be delivered in a reasonable timeframe. Where such specification and clarity can be made and agreed between the Developer and the relevant operator then we will consider the use of suspensive conditions in this way.
WIND ENERGY BOOST AS SALMOND OPENS NEW OFFICE - NATURAL POWER EXPANDS ITS DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY OFFICE AS EAST LOTHIAN WINDFARM EXPANDS
The Crystal Rig windfarm near Dunbar is to be extended by a capacity great enough to power more than 13,000 homes, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today.
The First Minister announced the £22 million investment during his visit to Natural Power, the Dumfries & Galloway based company, who develop and operate wind farm sites like Crystal Rig.
Speaking as he officially opened the new office space at the Natural Power's Headquarters, the First Minister said:
"Scotland is already home to Natural Power's headquarters here in Dumfries and Galloway. This expansion to its office space will enable the creation of 50 new jobs, accommodating up to 85 staff, more than double the current workforce, and further expand the company's operations - a real boost to the local economy.
"Natural Power is a growing, thriving company, with more than 14,000 MW of renewable energy projects on its books. It is an important contributor to Scotland's renewable energy sector and I am delighted to be able to announce a further expansion of the hugely significant Crystal Rig wind farm.
"The 27 MW Crystal Rig IIa extension to the East Lothian windfarm will include nine turbines and have the capacity to power 13,000 homes. Today's announcement completes the most exciting 10 days in the history of renewables in Scotland. It follows the consent also granted to the near 548 MW Clyde Project in South Lanarkshire and the 45 MW RWE npower Cogen Biomass Plant to be situated at Tullis Russell papermill site in Markinch. And Natural Power has today marked consent of 2000 MW to renewable energy production.
"These developments help prove the Scottish economy's resilience in challenging times and show that it is virtually certain that Scotland will now meet its target to generate 31 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2011.
"I am delighted that Natural Power is growing as a company and growing in Scotland. It is hugely important to the rural economy of the southwest of Scotland that such companies have their headquarters in places like Dalry. I wish both Natural Power and Crystal Rig a long and prosperous future in renewable energy in Scotland."
More details can be found in the decision index.
GREEN LIGHT FOR EUROPE'S BIGGEST WIND FARM
Europe's largest onshore windfarm has been given the green light by the Scottish Government.
First Minister Alex Salmond said the 152-turbine Clyde windfarm near Abington in South Lanarkshire would be capable of powering up to 320,000 homes.
This development will bring £600 million of investment while during construction the project is expected to create 200 jobs, with approximately 30 staff employed when fully operational.
The First Minister said:
"The Clyde windfarm will represent a very important step in the development of renewable energy in Scotland and in meeting shared European targets. It is another step towards making Scotland the green energy capital of Europe.
"The Scottish Government has an ambitious target to generate 31 per cent of Scotland's electricity demand from renewable sources by 2011 and 50 per cent by 2020.
"Today's announcement makes it virtually certain that the 2011 target will be met early and exceeded by the end of this Parliamentary term and represents a significant milestone on the way to achieving the 2020 target.
"Scotland has a clear, competitive advantage in developing clean, green energy sources such as wind, wave and tidal power.
"We have put renewable energy at the heart of our vision of increasing sustainable, economic growth."
The Clyde windfarm application was submitted by Airtricity. The windfarm will be built in clusters of turbines on either side of the M74 motorway. It will have a total capacity of up to 548 Megawatts (MW). At present, the largest consented windfarm in Scotland is Whitelee, on Eaglesham Moor, south of Glasgow, which is currently under construction and will have a total capacity of 322MW. Currently the biggest operational windfarm in Europe is the Maranchon windfarm complex in Guadalajara, Spain which has a generating capacity of 208 MW.
PUBLIC INQUIRY TO BE HELD INTO THE BAILLIE WIND FARM
Ministers have called for a Public Inquiry into the proposed Baillie wind farm following receipt of an objection from Highland Council. The application was received from Baillie Wind Farm Ltd, on 12 July 2004 for a 75 MW wind farm at Bardnaheigh Farm in Westfield, by Thurso, Caithness. The applicant submitted additional information to support the application in January 2006 and October 2007. Following an objection from Highland Council Ministers have determined that a public inquiry should be held to cover:-
- The relationship of the development to; Scottish Planning Policy 6 - renewable energy; Caithness local Plan and the Highland Renewable Energy Strategy policy and guidance.
- The cumulative impact, and likely impact on tourism (including routes and destinations)
- Visual impact
- Impact on scheduled monuments.
On 26 May 2008 all documents were forwarded to the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals who will now facilitate the inquiry.
CALCULATING CARBON SAVINGS FROM WIND FARMS ON SCOTTISH PEAT LANDS
The report from the RERAD funded project, 'Calculating carbon savings from wind farms on Scottish peat lands - A New Approach', was published on Friday 4 July. This publication focuses on carbon emissions from wind farm developments, and can be found on the Scottish Government website by following this link.