Earraghail Renewable Energy Development

Location

Earraghail Renewable Energy Development (the proposed Development) is located between the village of Tarbert, to the north east, and the village of Skipness, to the south, situated within the northern part of the Kintyre Peninsula in Argyll & Bute. The site is located within the forest areas of Skipness and Corranbuie and has been developed in conjunction with Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) who own and manage the area.

Current Stage

ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) has submitted a Section 36 Application to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit (ECU) for a development consisting of up to 13 wind turbines with a maximum tip height of 180 m and a rated output of around 78 MW, ground mounted solar arrays with an output of around 5 MW and supporting on-site infrastructure, giving a total rated output of around 83 MW. A battery energy storage system (BESS) would also be installed with a capacity of around 25 MW.

The proposed design has been reached following a comprehensive suite of environmental surveys and feedback from consultees and local communities. Turbine positions and associated infrastructure have evolved through an iterative design process to achieve a final layout sympathetic to environmental constraints and the surrounding landscape. Copies of the submitted Environmental Impact Assessment documentation can be found below in the “Project Documents” section.

Project History

This project is a result of SPR’s partnership with FLS, where SPR has rights to investigate the feasibility of onshore renewables projects within the National Forest Estate.

SPR initially investigated development scenarios of up to 38 turbines with tip height of up to 198 m, before detailed EIA studies. These were subsequently modified to a 13-turbine layout of up to 200 m to tip during the scoping phase. The final layout features 13 turbines of up to 180 m to tip, ground mounted solar arrays, a battery energy storage system (BESS) and associated infrastructure, substation and access tracks.

The final layout and maximum tip height, were informed by detailed multidisciplinary assessments and considered environmental constraints, balanced by technical requirements. Taking these constraints into account and considering the construction requirements of such a project, SPR has developed a design that it believes is best suited to the Site and its surroundings.

Community Consultation

Early consultation is crucial to the way SPR develops projects, and throughout the development process SPR ensures local communities and stakeholders are given the opportunity to provide feedback and are kept informed of project progress.

Due to Government guidance issued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face consultation was not possible during the design phase of the proposed Development. The Scottish Government issued regulations during this period which replaced the requirement for physical, face-to-face public events, with an alternative online version.

SPR has been committed to undertaking meaningful consultation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This involved utilising alternative methods of engagement such as mail and leaflet drops, SPR website, Earraghail mailbox and the hosting of two online Public Information Events, that took place in June 2020 and another from November 2020 to January 2021.

Key Benefits

SPR has been working alongside communities across the UK for nearly two decades and has, to date, contributed more than £43 million in benefit funds to support initiatives and projects for those communities local to its renewable energy development sites.

Since becoming operational in 2001 and 2014 respectively, SPR’s Beinn an Tuirc and Beinn an Tuirc 2 Windfarms on the Kintyre Peninsula have together contributed more than £2 million to the local communities. The flexible approach adopted by SPR has empowered local communities to decide what their community benefit is spent on. This has resulted in a diverse range of projects being delivered in the form of village hall restorations, environmental improvements, youth activities, educational programmes and much more.

With the development of these sites nearby, SPR is continuing its history of working positively with local communities on the Kintyre Peninsula. SPR is also keen to create employment opportunities during the construction and operation of our renewable energy developments that can benefit those who live near our sites. The socio-economic assessment of the proposed Development predicted that a £13.78 m net local benefit would be created by SPR’s investment in the project.

Site Enhancement

The proposed Earraghail Renewable Energy Development would also incorporate environmental enhancements including a plan to deliver large scale peatland restoration and native woodland creation to provide wider benefits for nature and biodiversity.

Peatland restoration, habitat improvements and native woodland planting would all be implemented in order to improve the ecology and environment as part of the proposed Development. SPR has also proposed a new walking bothy and stone seating on the Kintyre Way, a circular walking route from the Corranbuie Trail and a viewpoint near Tarbert.

Contact

The Project Team can be contacted directly by emailing: EarraghailRenewableEnergyDevelopment@scottishpower.com

Project Documents

Earraghail_leaflet

Please click on the links below to view the Earraghail Renewable Energy Development EIA Report documents.

Volume 3a | Report Graphics

Volume 4 | Technical Appendices

 

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