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RES plans revamp of its Nairnshire wind farm

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RES' Hill of Towie Wind Farm, Scotland. ©KeithArkins
RES' Hill of Towie Wind Farm, Scotland. ©KeithArkins

RES, an independent British renewable energy company, with 38 years' experience of developing, constructing and operating projects, has recently announced that it is revising the design of its consented Cairn Duhie Wind Farm, located south-east of Ferness in Nairnshire.

Cairn Duhie was originally submitted into planning in November 2013 and received consent as a 20-turbine scheme from the Scottish Government in October 2017. RES now plans to optimise the site with a reduced 16-turbine layout, which utilises modern turbines.

RES believes in meaningful and effective consultation and aims to engage early with the local community and key stakeholders in order to facilitate constructive dialogue. This helps to identify issues and concerns, as well as benefits and opportunities, which can then be considered when developing the design of the proposal.

To enable the company to engage with the local community at this time, an online exhibition is being held on Tuesday, May 12, on the Cairn Duhie project website at www.cairnduhie-windfarm.co.uk to inform the local community about the revised design and gather people's views. A variety of information will be available, including visualisations and wirelines to help give an impression of what the proposal could look like from different viewpoints in the area, and hard copies of the exhibition information will be provided upon request.

RES says it will be offering phone and Skype appointments, so that it can discuss its plans with as many people as possible, on Tuesday, May 12, from 11am until 8pm so you can talk to the team about the proposals.

RES development project manager Craig Smith said: "Since the project was submitted into planning there have been a number of changes in the industry, not least the significant advances in turbine technology.

Craig Smith, RES Development Project Manager.
Craig Smith, RES Development Project Manager.

"New onshore wind is now the cheapest form of electricity generation. With the ever-growing threat of climate change and the catastrophic impacts that it could have, it is imperative that we deliver clean low-cost electricity as efficiently as possible and maximise the contribution that Cairn Duhie can make to our net-zero carbon economy of the future.

"We recognise that undertaking a face-to-face public event isn't possible at this time due to social distancing, so in line with guidance from the chief planner we will be taking our event online and providing hard copies of the information where required. We hope to speak to as many people as possible either via Skype or over the phone."

RES says the proposed redesign of Cairn Duhie would be capable of generating low-cost*, clean renewable electricity for around 48,000 homes**. In addition, the proposal has the potential to deliver approximately £4.4 million in the form of jobs, employment, and the use of local services. The company is keen to hear from local businesses which are interested in learning more about the opportunities associated with this project.

Further information on the project and exhibition event can be found by clicking here or by calling 0141 404 5578.

Comments on the proposal must be provided in writing by filling out a 'comments form' on the project website or alternatively via hard copy upon request. The closing date for comments is Friday, June 12, 2020. Comments will still be accepted after this date but will not be considered in relation to the development's design.

Comments submitted to RES are not representations to the determining authority (Scottish Government). There will be an opportunity to submit representations to the determining authority should an application be made.

* Electricity Generation Costs – Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, November 2016.

** The 48,000 homes figure has been calculated by taking the predicted annual electricity generation of the site (based on RES assessments, Cairn Duhie [redesign] has a predicted capacity factor of 30.97% – based on a 4.2MW [megawatt] candidate turbine) and dividing this by the annual average electricity figures from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) showing that the annual UK average domestic household consumption is 3,729 kWh (2019). Final wind farm capacity will vary depending on the outcome of planning permission and the turbine type selected.

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