The wind farm proposal is a result of extensive environmental and technical studies that have been undertaken to reveal the landscape's ability to sensitively harness the high wind speeds available in Sutherland.
Image Courtesy of Enercon
Image for illustrative purposes only.
Initial feasibility studies revealed that the Meall Buidhe Wind Farm project could consist of up to 21 wind turbines with an overall generating capacity of over 60MW. However, following a review of the wind farm during the ongoing design process it has been decided that the number of turbines should be reduced to 8. Each of the wind turbines would have an individual generating capacity of up to 5MW. A map illustrating the location of the site and the wind turbines can be viewed here.
The development would generate sufficient electricity to meet the average annual electricity demands of approximately 27,883 households*.
Through undertaking a thorough Environmental Impact Assessment, areas of sensitive ecological habitats, deep peatland, watercourses and other environmentally sensitive areas will be avoided.
Pre-Application Consultation and an iterative design process will inform the design of the wind farm.
*Figure based on the mean domestic electricity consumption in Scotland (3,393kWh) in 2019 published in December 2020 by the Department for Energy and Climate Change in the report ‘Sub-national electricity consumption statistics’ and the average UK capacity factor of 27%.
If planning permission is granted a substantial community benefits package would be set up to provide an annual fund available to the local community.
Examples of previous funds that have been set up include provisions for local projects, such as:
Local community groups and sports clubs
The development or regeneration of community buildings
Wildlife and biodiversity enhancement
Community fuel station
Meall Buidhe Renewables LLP would like to provide a community benefit model where specific localised needs are targeted. We would like to ensure that the community plays a significant role in the distribution of any funds. Suggestions on the most suitable structure for a community benefit fund are welcomed, as well as the preferred uses for the fund.
Wind Energy in Scotland
In 2011 the Scottish Government revised its 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland and established a target of generating 100% of the electricity demand equivalent from renewable energy.
Onshore wind turbines are the most technically and commercially established renewable energy generation technology available in Scotland. Onshore wind farms therefore are of vital importance if we are going to meet the targets that have been set by the Scottish Government.
Meall Buidhe Renewables LLP are keen to help provide a more sustainable energy supply for Scotland through the development of the proposed wind farm development.
The Meall Buidhe Wind Farm would provide a significant contribution to Scotland's overall renewable energy capacity and help to address the serious challenges posed by Climate Change.