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Corriegarth 2 Windfarm

The proposed Corriegarth 2 Windfarm is located next to the Operational Corriegarth Windfarm, on the Corriegarth Estate, Gorthleck approximately 15km north-east of Fort Augustus and 10km south-east of Foyers. The development will comprise 16 wind turbines, with a maximum tip height of 149.9m, windfarm tracks and electrical infrastructure. 

An on-line public exhibition for the proposal was held in June 2020 and following this and completion of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) the application and EIA have now been submitted to the Scottish Ministers, details of this application are provided below. The site has been designed to minimise environmental impacts and take advantage of the high windspeeds in the area. In particular siting the windfarm adjacent to the existing Corriegarth Windfarm means the existing windfarm roads and overhead grid connection can be shared minimising the need for new infrastructure and associated environmental effects.  

The application to construct and operate the Corriegarth 2 Windfarm has been submitted to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit (ECU) for determination by Scottish Ministers under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989. As the proposals are for a project greater than 50MW the Scottish Minister’s are responsible for determining the application.   

A copy of the application including the EIA Report discussing the proposals in more detail and presenting an analysis of the environmental implications, is available for public inspection and download using the links below and on the Scottish Government Energy Consents website

Details of the public consultation process including making a representation to the Scottish Ministers are provided in the published public notice.

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The need for the project

On 28th April 2019, Scotland’s First Minister declared a “climate emergency”, following this the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 was passed committing Scotland to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2045, at the latest. 

The Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy, published in December 2017, sets out the target of achieving the “equivalent of 50% of the energy for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied from renewable sources” by 2030. In order to meet this, and wider renewable energy targets by 2030, approximately 17GW of installed capacity will be required throughout Scotland. As onshore wind offers the lowest cost renewable energy technology it is a vital component of the renewables industry in Scotland and will play a key part in achieving these targets. 

The proposed development could contribute to these targets by adding between 60-96 MW of installed onshore wind capacity over its 30 year operational lifespan.

Turbine layout design

The project Environmental Assessment and Design team comprising of: wind, geotechnical and civil engineers; landscape architects; ecologists; and archaeologists, are working together to design a windfarm which balances the requirement to optimise the energy output whilst minimising environmental impacts.  Throughout the design process the following factors have been considered:

  • Technical constraints such as the wind pattern and steepness of slopes 
  • Offsite environmental constraints such as landscape and visual effects
  • Onsite environmental constraints such as effects on vegetation, peat, watercourses and birds

The design and location of the turbines and other infrastructure is an ongoing, iterative process informed by: desk and field studies: consultation with stakeholders; and the knowledge and experience gained from the construction and operation of Corriegarth Windfarm. 

The main aims of the design process have been to develop a layout which: 

  • Accords visually with the operational Corriegarth Wind Farm which, as far as is practical, avoids the clustering of turbines and the isolation of outlying turbines in views from key locations
  • Takes into account the pattern of existing and proposed wind farms in the area
  • Considers landscape impacts on designated areas including the Cairngorms National Park, Special Landscape Areas Loch Ness and Duntelchaig and the Monadhliath Wild Land Area
  • Considers visual effects on local residential and amenity receptors
  • Minimises impacts on sensitive habitats such as peat 
  • Takes into account use of the site by protected species
  • Minimises impacts on surface and groundwater

Since the start of the development process the main changes to the design have been:

  • Reduction of turbine heights from 180m to 149.9m to reduce the scale difference with the existing Corriegarth turbines and avoid the need for visible aviation lighting.
  • Reduce the horizontal spread of turbines. 

Why here?

  • Good wind resource
  • Existing windfarm allows use of existing windfarm tracks and overhead transmission line to connect to the national grid 
  • Good access from the public road 
  •  Available land 
  •  Previous application demonstrated limited and acceptable significant environmental impacts

Project Facts

  • Up to 16 turbines 
  • Turbine maximum tip height 149.9m
  • Installed capacity over 50MW
  • Ancillary infrastructure including: substation and control building; crane hardstandings; underground cabling; a temporary construction compound; up to two borrow pits; and temporary laydown areas. 
  • Access to the site will be from the A9 following the B862 and entering the turbine area via the existing Operational Corriegarth Wind Farm Track
  • New tracks will connect the existing tracks to the new turbines.  
  • The existing overhead grid connection line will be used to connect to the national grid at Farigaig Substation

The Existing Corriegarth Wind Farm has been operational since 2017 and consists of:

  • 23 Turbines with a tip height of 120m
  • Total output capacity of 69 MW
  • Approximately 25 km of access tracks
  • An on-site substation connecting into the Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission’s overhead line to their substation at Farigaig

Project Benefits

  • Provision of clean, green, renewable electricity
  • Generate job opportunities for local supply chains and ongoing maintenance contracts
  • Help secure home grown energy for the UK 
  • Community benefit of £5,000/MW per year
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