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Stranoch

THE PROPOSAL

 

The Stranoch Wind Farm is a consented 24 turbine wind farm between New Luce and Barrhill in Dumfries and Galloway.  At 72 MW, it was consented under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 in 2016.

Since the application for the Stranoch Wind Farm was made in 2013, the UK government has removed financial support for renewables, prompting EDF Energy Renewables to review the consented development as it must operate purely on the basis of a market price for the electricity it produces.

In order to make the wind farm more productive a new application is being developed which will consider a range of different turbine heights. It is not envisaged that the design for the revised project (to be known as Stranoch 2) will use more turbines than the 24 consented in 2016.

In due course we will be undertaking full consultation with local communities on our new application for the wind farm. Full details of local events and opportunities to comment on our proposal will be announced when all arrangements have been confirmed. 

Stranoch 1


The consented Stranoch 1 Wind Farm comprises 24 turbines of nominally 3 MW each arranged in two clusters: a northern cluster of 10 turbines and a southern cluster of 14. 

The candidate turbine for Stranoch 1 uses 90 metre diameter blades on 65 metre and 90 metre towers, giving maximum blade tip heights of 110 and 135 metres above ground level.

Stranoch 2


It is envisaged that Stranoch 2 will have a similar number of turbines to Stranoch 1. A final layout with confirmed turbines numbers will follow ongoing technical and environmental works.
It is anticipated that the layout of the wind farm will retain the two cluster design with a similar but possibly expanded development area if increased separation distances between taller turbines is necessary. The principal alterations to the consented development are anticipated to be as follows: -  It is likely that a taller range of turbine heights will be used in the proposal. Turbines of up to 175m to tip (with tower heights of up to around 110m) are being considered.
- The specific location of some, or all, turbines is likely to change from those consented for Stranoch 1 - In Stranoch 1, the substation was located within the southern cluster of turbines. It has now been confirmed that the grid connection for the site would extend to the north, connecting to Mark Hill Wind Farm. As a result, in Stranoch 2 a new location for the substation will be proposed within the northern cluster of turbines to reduce the length of the grid connection route.

- The shipping of the turbines will come to Cairnryan instead of Ayr.

Environmental Impact Assessment

The new Stranoch 2 wind farm application will require a new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be undertaken.
The Environmental Impact Assessment seeks to record the baseline environmental conditions for a development project and predict how those environmental characteristics will change as a result of constructing, operating and decommissioning a future development.   
The environmental importance of changes are evaluated based upon the nature of the change – accounting for relevant factors, such as the rarity / sensitivity of the receiving environment, the characteristics of the development, duration of disturbance, magnitude of change, etc.
These environmental changes are described as impacts or effects in EIAs and categorised in terms of their significance.  Likely significant effects and the measures proposed to mitigate or avoid them are described in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA Report) which will be submitted with the planning application.  

Following submission, the EIA Report is sent to numerous consultees including Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) who will scrutinise the proposal and EIA findings before sending a consultation response to the Scottish Government.  Hard copies of the report will be available to view in public locations.

An EIA was undertaken for the original Stranoch 1 application.  The environmental characteristics of site are therefore well understood and much of the baseline data from that assessment will inform the forthcoming project’s design and assessment.
EDF Energy Renewables submitted a Scoping Report to the Energy Consents and Deployment Unit of the Scottish Government in July and we are currently awaiting a response from them and other consultees in relation to the environmental topics that should be investigated in detail for the forthcoming application.  It is likely that the scope of assessment will be similar to the assessment undertaken for the consented development.  

The Environmental Report will include assessments of the following topics:

Archaeology/Cultural Heritage

There are numerous archaeological features in and surrounding the Stranoch 2 site.  The project design will seek to avoid any physical impact on such features and the assessment will report on the direct and indirect impact of the wind farm on cultural heritage interests.

Ecology and Ornithology

The EIA will look closely at the ecological interests of the site and consider what effects the wind farm could have.  The Glen App and Galloway Moors Special Protection Area (SPA) has a boundary adjacent to the wind farm site and the potential for the development to affect the breeding hen harrier population for which the SPA is designated will be an important focus of the assessment.
The EIA will also study the potential for impacts on other wildlife including protected species such as bats, otters, and badgers as well as evaluating the impact on flora and sensitive habitat types.

Landscape and Visual Impacts

The Landscape and Visual impact Assessment (often abbreviated to LVIA) identifies the effects of new developments on views and on the landscape itself.  The assessment will be accompanied by visualisations (photomontages) that show what the final proposed layout would look like in the landscape from surrounding viewpoints. 

Hydrology and Soils

The hydrology and soils assessment uses an understanding of soil/peat depths and hydrological flows to predict how the development may cause damage to habitats through processes such as removal, erosion, desiccation and degradation.  It will make recommendations for measures to avoid and mitigate such impacts as well as avoidance of pollution impacts on water bodies.

Noise

Because a revised layout using different heights of turbine has the potential to change the noise emissions from the wind farm, the revised layout will be modelled and assessed to ensure that it can comply with national guidelines relating to noise from wind farms.  It is expected that the limits established for the Stranoch 1 wind farm would apply to any new consent.

Land Use, Recreation and Access

The assessment will describe the land use and recreational use of the site and adjacent areas that may be affected by the development.  It will evaluate how such usage could be affected by the proposal.  Where significant impacts are possible, for example on the right of way that bisects the site, proposals will be made to minimise the disruption that construction activities may give rise to.


Project Contact

Project Contact details

EDF Energy Renewables
Alexander House
1 Mandarin Road
Rainton Bridge Business Park
Houghton le Spring
SUNDERLAND
DH4 5RA

Email: info@edf-er.com

Tel: 0800 0566650

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