To ensure we are developing renewable energy responsibly here at ScottishPower Renewables, each one of our projects follows a thorough development process. This includes consultation with local communities to shape how our proposals develop detailed environmental studies to inform design.
We understand that the development and planning processes can seem complicated and we aim to make them as transparent as possible so each of our stakeholders understands when they can give feedback and how this will be used to influence the project.
The development process followed by each project can vary depending on the location and scale, however, the steps below highlight how this may typically evolve. The process is broadly similar across onshore wind, offshore wind and both wave and tidal marine energy projects.
When we have identified an area suitable for renewable energy development, we will undertake early consultation with stakeholders and use their feedback to inform the key issues we will consider when we begin its design. Consultees can include, but are not limited to:
- Local authorities
- Environmental and conservation bodies
- Local businesses
- Community organisations
Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental Impact Assessment is a formal part of the planning process for renewable energy developments and involves undertaking environmental surveys of the proposed site to quantify and evaluate any potential effects the project may have and to identify appropriate measures to eliminate, avoid, reduce or mitigate these effects. The topics covered in an Environmental Impact Assessment vary depending on the project’s location and nature (onshore wind, offshore wind, marine). Areas typically examined include, but are not limited to:
- Landscape and visual effects
- Ecology and ornithology
- Cultural heritage
- Hydrology, hydrogeology, geology and oceanography
- Access, traffic and transport
- Social and economic effects
- Aviation and telecommunications
When we have scoped the project and began environmental assessments, we will host local consultations events to introduce our proposals and gather feedback at this early stage to shape how we progress.
Prepare Environmental Statement
An Environmental Statement is the name given to the document that presents the findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment we have conducted. The Environmental Statement will be issued to the determining authority as part of our application for consent to construct and operate the proposed project. When complete, we make copies of this document available for viewing in areas local to the project.
When we have completed our Environmental Impact Assessment and refined our design for the project we will host a further round of local consultations events to gather final feedback as we prepare to submit our application for consent.
Submission of Application
After finalising our application we submit this to the determining authority.
Evaluation of Application
The determining authority will review our application, including feedback received from stakeholders. This will inform their decision.
The determining authority will either grant permission for the renewable energy project to be constructed and operated or they will refuse permission.