Glenurquhart & Strathglass Wind Energy Project: www.glenstrath.co.uk
Orkney Renewable Energy Ltd: www.orkneywind.co.uk
Scottish Government Policy on Renwables: www.scotland.gov.uk
The Highland Council - Renewable Strategy: www.highland.gov.uk
The Project Scoping Report (file size 17Mb please be patient!): Full Scoping Report
Community success story - Gigha Renewable Energy Ltd: The Story of the Windmills
Giving communities the means to tackle climate change: The Climate Challenge Fund
A Scottish Charity actively supporting and funding community groups throughout Scotland to develop sustainable energy projects: Community Energy Scotland
Investing in social businesses that have the capability to make sustainable social impacts: Social Investment Scotland
To combat the effects of climate change the UK government has set a target of 15% of UK electricity to be produced from renewable sources by 2015. There is a major opportunity for windpower in the Highlands to contribute to this aim and at the same time boost the economy of the region.
While a number of communities in the Highlands & Islands have undoubtedly benefited financially from having a wind energy scheme on their doorstep, the major financial benefits have tended to go outwith the communities and the region itself. The Glenurquhart & Strathglass Wind Energy Project seeks to redress this imbalance:
'It is the wish of the promoters of the project that all investors in the project will be from Glenurquhart and Strathglass or have connections to the area and ideally to live in the Highlands and Islands. This would be a first for the Highlands for a project of this size.'
The development site is at the head of Glen Urquhart at a height of 455m above sea level on farmland owned by the Girvan family. The scheme proposes to build five 2MW turbines yielding an annual output close to 27,500MWh - an effective reduction of some 3000 tonnes of carbon compared to other generating methods. The turbines will be approximately 100 feet tall and set 250m apart. They will be a minimum 5km from neighbouring properties and their situation will minimse visual impact.
The turbines connect to the National Grid at Fasnakyle Power Station in Strathglass some 6km from the site. It is proposed that the High Voltage and associated telecommunications cables will be routed entirely underground. The estimated cost of the project is £13 million (June 2009).
The Project Development Team have been keen to minimise the impact on both the environment and the local communities. Hence, sensitive issues have been to the fore during the consultation process and the team have actively engaged with all interested parties inluding:
Glen Urquhart & Strathglass Community Councils; The Highland Council; RSPB; Historic Scotland; Scottish Natural Heritage; Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.
The Project will provide a number of social and economic benefits for the community to include:
The full technical description and environmental study being submitted with the planning application can now be viewed in the reference section of the website.