SSE Renewables, the renewable energy development division of SSE, welcomes today’s unanimous decision by the Highland Council’s North Planning Committee to raise no objection to the proposed Glencassley wind farm, north-west of Lairg.
The proposed Glencassley wind farm site is located approximately 6km north of Rosehall, between the River Cassley and Loch Shin, and lies wholly within the Highland Council’s ‘Area of Search for Wind Energy Development’.
Since an application for the 26 turbine scheme was submitted in July 2012, a recommendation has been received from the Highland Council to remove three turbines from the south of the site. Further discussion with the Council and key stakeholders has led to this recommendation being agreed, and the proposal reduced to 23 turbines with a total installed capacity of up to 69MW.
The site has been carefully selected and designed to minimise any impacts and visibility in the surrounding area with detailed surveys and assessments being undertaken over the last two years as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). It is located adjacent to existing energy infrastructure and would utilise existing tracks. The turbine heights have also been reduced from 135m to 126.5m and numbers halved from the original 47 turbine scoping design.
Director of Onshore Renewables, Colin Nicol, said: “We welcome the committee’s decision today, which follows the planning report recommendation. It is an important step in the consent process for the project and reflects the hard work that we have put into developing the proposal, as well as the open and positive consultation we’ve had with key stakeholders.
“As a responsible developer, we have taken considerable care with the design and setting of the scheme, and a wealth of environmental work has been undertaken to identify and reduce any potential impacts. In addition, feedback received has helped to shape the design, including the recent removal of three turbines from the south of the site, and there were no objections to the scheme from local community councils.
“If consented, the scheme will deliver significant economic and employment opportunities to the local area, as well as other important benefits such as skills and training initiatives linked to our industry leading community investment programme*. SSE is proud to have been part of the Highland community for generations and we want to make sure local people continue to benefit from the responsible development of the area’s natural energy resources.”
SSE has a strong history in the Highlands and Islands, where it already employs around 2000 people, and is expected to invest between