How many wind turbines are proposed?
Up to 10 wind turbines, with a maximum height to blade tip of 149.9 m.
Why are the proposed wind turbines 149.9 m height to blade tip?
- Reduces Levelised Cost of Energy, which equals greater efficiency.
- Taller, more efficient turbines mean we can generate more power with fewer wind turbines. The net effect is less new structures needed in the landscape.
- The Project would make an important contribution to renewables targets (e.g. 50% of all energy consumption in Scotland from renewable sources by 2030).
What will the generating capacity of the development be?
Combining the 10 wind turbines and battery energy storage system (BESS) would give a generating capacity of around 65MW. We are also looking to incorporate a solar array.
What will the Development look like from my property?
As part of this online Public Information Event, we have presented photomontages of what the proposed Development could look like from a number of selected key viewpoints surrounding the Site Boundary. Unfortunately, due to this being an online consultation, we are unable to show the views from all possible locations during the Event. However, if you would like to see what the proposed Development could look like from a specific location not shown online as part of this Event, please contact us via email at email@example.com.
A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, and Residential Visual Amenity Assessment are currently underway and will be presented in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report to be submitted with the application for planning consent.
How long is the construction period and when is it likely to commence?
If the proposed Development receives consent, construction would likely commence around 2024. This is dependent on timescales for the application to be processed by the Scottish Government and other factors. The construction period is anticipated to be approximately 22 months.
How will construction traffic and turbine deliveries access the Site?
Options for construction traffic and wind turbine deliveries are still being assessed for the Site. However, it is proposed that wind turbine components are delivered to either Wick or Scrabster Harbour after which they would principally use the A99, A9 and A836 to the proposed Site access junction.
Prior to construction, a Traffic Management Plan would be compiled and agreed with the relevant authorities, this will include specific mitigation measures for delivery of abnormal loads such as timing of deliveries outside peak flow hours, and police escorts where necessary. Once the Development is operational, impacts relating to traffic and transport would be minimal.
Will there be any potential impacts on private water supplies in the area?
A survey of private water supplies identified within 5 km of the Site has been carried out. The supply locations will be considered based on their position relative to the Site and on the potential for the proposed Development to affect the supplies in order to determine if there could be potential pollutant-source-pathway-receptor relationships.
The assessment will be undertaken assuming that good practice mitigation measures will be implemented on Site, during construction and operation.
Private water supplies will be fully assessed as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment and presented within the Environmental Impact Assessment Report.
How would the Development connect to the grid?
The grid connection would be subject to a separate design and consent process undertaken by National Grid and ScottishPower Energy Networks (SPEN are a separate, regulated part of ScottishPower Group and not part of SPR).
It is thought at this stage, however, that the proposed Development will most likely connect to the proposed Gills Bay Substation.
Why do windfarms get paid to switch off?
To ensure the secure operation of the electricity system, National Grid can take over a thousand separate actions each day to balance supply (Generators) and demand (Customers/ Users) across the electricity grid network. This includes instructing generators to alter their output. This is how National Grid operated and controlled its electricity network even before windfarms were connected to the grid. National Grid is obligated by Ofgem to ensure that it balances the supply and demand on its networks in the most effective way.
Why do we need more renewables?
The deployment of renewable technologies, including onshore wind, continues to grow and more will be required to achieve the UK’s Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions targets; in the first quarter of 2020, 14.8% of the electricity generated in the UK came from onshore wind, compared to 11.3% at the start of 2019.
The National Infrastructure Commission highlighted earlier this year that renewables are now the cheapest form of electricity generation due to dramatic cost reductions in recent years.
How does the electricity generation mix impact electricity bills?
There are many factors which affect the price of a consumer’s electricity bill such as the wholesale costs of energy (including fossil fuel costs), costs to maintain and operate the network, costs of government support and other operational costs. Given the significant reductions in cost experienced in the wind sector to date, future deployment of wind could provide significant benefits to electricity consumers.
You may be interested in the following reports for further information:
Ofgem, the market regulator, who ensure that consumers get a fair deal on their energy have online resources which may help to further explain how bills are calculated.
What opportunities do the co-location of energy storage technology (i.e. battery) provide?
- By storing and redistributing energy quickly, in response to when that energy is needed, storage helps stabilise the grid network.
- It makes grid networks more resilient, efficient, and cleaner than ever before by supporting the greater integration of renewable energy generation.
- It can be used during emergencies like power outages during storms, or equipment failures.
- It makes sense to co-locate this technology with a windfarm as this offers the opportunity to share the grid connection.
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