Earraghail Renewable Energy Development

Location

Earraghail Renewable Energy Development (Earraghail RED) is located on the Kintyre Peninsula, south of the village of Tarbert and north of the village of Skipness. The site itself is on the National Forest Estate of both Skipness and Corranbuie, within Argyll and Bute.

Current Stage

ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) is proposing to submit a S36 Application to the Scottish Government for a 114MW wind-hybrid renewable energy development in Argyll and Bute.

As part of the development process, SPR submitted a request for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping advice to the Scottish Governments Energy Consents Unit. Copies of the submitted documentation can be found below in the 'Scoping Documents' section and on the ECU website using reference number: ECU00002062.

The latest information available for the project is shown in the “Project Update” section below.

Project History

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

A wind monitoring meteorological mast planning application was submitted in March 2020 and was installed on the site in March 2021. A second wind monitoring meteorological mast planning application was submitted in March 2021 and is currently under determination by Argyll and Bute Council, reference number: 21/00614/PP.

Community Consultation

Early consultation is key 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.

Public Consultation Events

Due to the Government guidance issued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic we were unable to hold a ‘traditional’ style of Public Information Day. However, public consultation was instead undertaken via online Public Information Events with information available for a number of weeks. These events took place throughout June 2020 and again between November 2020 and January 2021 and provided an opportunity for the community to review information, ask any questions and provide feedback on the project. These events were advertised in local newspapers, online and via leaflet drops to addresses near to Earraghail.

In addition to these events, we have provided a further update via this website, where you can view our Project Update section below for Earraghail Renewable Energy Development and share your feedback.

Please send any questions you may have about the project to the project team, and include your contact details so we can respond to your enquiry.

SPR chose to extend the project development phase into 2021 to gather additional site survey information and to allow for more time to engage with members of the public and other key stakeholders. This extension has also allowed for SPR to undertake further engagement with the local Community Councils, and we have sought to achieve the best possible design outcome and maximise the economic and employment opportunities for the local communities to benefit from the proposed Development.

Project Update

Since submitting an EIA scoping request in the summer of 2020, and undertaking public consultation in June 2020 and winter 2020-2021, SPR has progressed and refined further the design for Earraghail RED. The key changes involved are summarised below:

  • Reduction in the overall footprint of Earraghail RED by removing the majority of the Corranbuie forestry land parcel from the application site, as well as all designated protected sites.
  • Change in the number of planned turbines from 13 to 14, with a reduction in the maximum height of the turbines from 200m to 180m. This allows SPR to address comments from stakeholders and local communities while securing the economic viability of the proposed Development at the same time as reducing landscape impacts in comparison to 200m to tip turbines.
  • Inclusion of an area for solar development within the turbine array allowing for up to 5MW of solar output to complement the onshore wind generation on the Site.
  • Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) proposals for up to 25MW within the turbine array.
  • A suite of opportunities and enhancements that have been agreed with the landowner, Forestry and Land Scotland. These include
    • Habitat improvements:
      • Peatland restoration, where areas of degraded peatland affected by unsuccessful forestry plantation would be reinstated as part of the proposed Development, improving the habitat and acting as a “carbon sink” sequestering more carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
      • Native woodland planting on areas of clear-felled forestry to improve the habitat and biodiversity of the Site.
      • Provision of Habitat improvement, to encourage certain protected species to maintain a sustainable population within the area.
    • Improvements for recreational users of the site and the Kintyre Way, such as:
      • A new circular walk, extending the existing circular walks from Tarbert and linked to the Kintyre Way and a new viewpoint overlooking Tarbert.
      • A new walkers’ bothy on the route of the Kintyre Way through the Site.

Full details of these elements of the project will be made available in SPR’s formal application for consent to the Scottish Ministers. SPR will advertise the application when it is submitted to the Scottish Ministers, and members of the public will be able to respond to the application for consent.

SPR expect to submit the application before the end of 2021.

Benefits

As a responsible developer of renewable energy, SPR is keen for the communities surrounding our operational windfarms to benefit. Our nearby Windfarms, including Beinn an Tuirc 1 and 2, have delivered more than £2 million to date for the benefit of communities across Argyll and Bute.

Should Earraghail Renewable Energy Development become operational, SPR will share benefits of the development with the local communities which could include an opportunity for local community organisations to invest in the proposed Development once operational. 

With established sites nearby, SPR has a history of engaging positively with communities within the region. SPR is keen to create employment opportunities during the construction and operation of our windfarms that can be delivered locally to benefit those who live near our sites.

Contact

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

Scoping Documents

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

 

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