The newly consented Dunmaglass Wind Farm, located approximately 25 km south of Inverness, will comprise of 33 wind turbines, each with a maximum height of 120m to the tip of the blade. The wind farm is likely to generate electricity equivalent to the average annual demand of around 40,000 Scottish households, which is the equivalent to approximately 40% of the households in the Highland area.
RES originally submitted a planning application for the wind farm in 2005, but in response to feedback received from local residents and consultees, the planning application was amended in order to allow revisions to be made. It was then resubmitted in 2008.
Highland Council’s Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey Planning Committee raised no objections to the application subject to a number of conditions in March of this year.
Allan Johnston, Head of Development for RES in Scotland, said:
‘Everyone at RES is delighted with the positive decision by the Scottish Government today. Dunmaglass is an ideal location for a wind farm and has no landscape or ecological designations, which is why after careful consideration it has been approved. Dunmaglass has been in the planning system for 6 years and during that time RES has listened to local residents, consultees and stakeholders, taken their comments on board, and modified the proposal where possible to address the concerns raised.
Harnessing the wind is an efficient, reliable and sustainable way to supply clean energy for people living in the UK. The Dunmaglass Wind Farm will also provide significant local economic and social benefits. Local residents will benefit from the upgrading of sections of the B851 and a community fund split between Strathnairn, Strathdearn and Stratherrick Community Councils. RES has also formed a link with prospective Highlands and Islands University to create an engineering scholarship scheme.
RES will fund a Nature Conservation Management Plan throughout the lifetime of the project which will improve the habitat for key species in the vicinity of the wind farm.
Dunmaglass will cost £70 – £100 million to construct, of which a significant proportion will be spent locally and we look forward to commencing construction activities in due course’
Earlier this year, RES announced a student scholarship scheme open to engineering students studying at the prospective University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) who are keen to pursue a career in renewable energy. Every year for the next four years, a final year student from the UHI will be awarded the RES Highland Scholarship to provide an important link between the two institutions. Successful students will receive a cash award of £1500 to support them in completing their chosen course of study and a summer work experience placement at RES’s Glasgow office.
RES is one of the world’s leading independent renewable energy project developers with operations across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. At the forefront of wind energy development since the 1970s, RES has developed and/or built more than 5GW of wind energy capacity worldwide, including around 10% of the UK’s wind power.
In Scotland, RES has developed and/or owns seven wind farm projects. The RES Group is active in a range of renewable energy technologies (biomass, solar, onshore and offshore wind power, wave and tidal), as well as sustainable building design.