United Kingdom

United Kingdom

New plans unveiled for UK's largest onshore wind farm

A developer has proposed building an up to 560MW wind farm that could become the UK's largest onshore project.

Community Windpower's operational portfolio consists of seven Scottish wind farms with a combined capacity of 221.25MW
Community Windpower's operational portfolio consists of seven Scottish wind farms with a combined capacity of 221.25MW

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If built, CWL Energy’s 80-turbine Scoop Hill wind farm in south-west Scotland would be larger than SSE's 349.6MW Clyde project and Scottish Power's Whitelee site, which has twice been extended, bringing its total capacity to 539MW.

The developer, a sister company of Community Windpower, anticipates using as many as 80 turbines with power ratings of 5-7MW and tip-heights of 200-240 metres, according to a scoping report submitted to the Scottish government.

Using turbines with larger tip heights and power ratings is necessary to maximise output and create economies of scale to drive down costs after the UK government’s withdrawal of support for onshore wind, the developer explained.

Its planned Scoop Hill wind farm, which would be built on forestry near a motorway in Dumfries and Galloway near the border with England, would be more than double the capacity of developer CWL’s existing operational portfolio.

The site could also feature energy storage and solar PV facilities, the developer suggested.

Having submitted the scoping report for Scoop Hill, CWL will carry out a consultation with nearby community councils and adapt the project’s design based on feedback.

It will then carry out another consultation and further review of the project, before submitting an environmental impact assessment and later a full planning application.

CWL is currently consulting with wildlife groups and heritage societies, having first discussed the project with the Scottish wing of the Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds and Scottish Natural Heritage in 2017.

An application will be lodged only after "extensive dialogue and consultation with local community and stakeholders", the developer stated.

Eventually, Scottish ministers would need to determine the project’s planning application as it has a generating capacity of more than 50MW, CWL noted.

The developer has not yet suggested a potential commissioning date, and has not explained how the project would be funded.

CWL has also submitted a planning application for a 45-turbine, 315MW wind farm, also in Dumfries and Galloway.

It intends to use turbines with 7MW power ratings and 179.5 - 200 metre tip heights at its proposed Faw Side wind farm, according to the planning document.

The developer’s operational wind power portfolio consists of seven Scottish projects with a combined capacity of 221.25MW.

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