ScottishPower Renewables submitted Additional Information in the form of an Updated Cumulative Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (including visualisations) in July 2023 at the request of the Reporter. Please see the ‘Project Documents’ section for more information.
Hollandmey Renewable Energy Development is located approximately 8 km south west of John o’ Groats and 16 km east of Thurso, situated within the north east of Caithness in the Scottish Highlands.
ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) submitted an application in November 2021 for a development comprising of 10 wind turbines up to 149.9 metre blade tip height, with a generating capacity of around 50 megawatts (MW), and around 15 MW of ground mounted solar arrays producing a combined output of around 65 MW (and additional 15 MW battery energy storage facility). The application has now been referred to the Scottish Governments Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA).
Details of the application can be found on the DPEA website at:
DPEA – Hollandmey Renewable Energy Development
In July 2023, SPR submitted an Updated Cumulative Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA), including updated figures and visualisations which can be found in the “Project Documents” section.
As part of the development process a wind monitoring mast was installed on the Site in November 2017.
In July 2020, Scoping Topic Information Sheets and a Project Information Sheet were issued to relevant consultees to seek their views on the scope and content of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Hollandmey RED.
In November 2021, a planning application was submitted to the Energy Consents Unit (ECU) for consideration. Following receipt of consultation responses to the application, SPR submitted Additional Information to the ECU in July 2022 in relation to:
- a Castle of Mey mitigation planting proposal which sets out proposed mitigation that aims to minimise potential effects on affected key views from the Castle of Mey and its Garden and Designed Landscape;
- an amended visualisation from the Castle of Mey (CHVP09); and
- a response prepared by The Natural Research Group (NRP) in response to consultee queries in relation to ornithological matters.
Copies of the documentation submitted as part of the planning application can be found below in the "Project Documents" section.
The following timeline shows the current status of the project:
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.
The design of Hollandmey RED has been reached following a comprehensive suite of environmental assessments and feedback from consultees and local communities following:
- Two online Public Information Events in October 2020 and January 2021;
- Consultation following Section 36 Application submitted in November 2021; and
- Consultation following submission of Additional Information in July 2022.
Turbine positions and associated infrastructure have been arrived at through an evolving design process to achieve a final layout sympathetic to environmental constraints and the surrounding landscape.
SPR has been working alongside communities across the UK for nearly two decades and has, to date, contributed more than £55 million in benefit funds to support initiatives and projects for those communities local to its onshore operational sites. SPR operates two existing windfarms in The Highlands region: Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm in east Sutherland and Halsary Windfarm south of Spittal in Caithness. Community benefit funds from these developments over their lifetime are projected to exceed £5.5 million in the local area.
With the development of these sites nearby, SPR is continuing its history of working positively with local communities in the Highlands. We are keen to create employment opportunities during the construction and operation of our windfarms that can benefit those who live near our sites.
The flexible approach adopted by SPR has empowered local communities to decide what their community benefit is spent on. This has resulted in a fantastic diversity of projects being delivered, from broadband provision, environmental improvements, youth activities, educational programmes, heritage projects, a community minibus, installation of defibrillators and provision of first aid kits and much more. For Hollandmey RED alone, SPR has reached an agreement with the Highland Council regarding the provision of a £50,000 contribution to support the electric vehicle network in the Highlands. The proposed Hollandmey RED would add further significant value to the local communities by supporting the local economy through the supply chain; creating new opportunities for businesses in terms of both jobs and training; and local employment to support local communities.
Should Hollandmey RED be consented, the additional local benefits noted in the graphic below would also be provided:
 Hollandmey RED forecast capacity factor/yield = 133.59GWh (50MW x 8,760 hours/year x 0.305 (Scotland) (BEIS annual onshore wind capacity factor (2022), published July 2023)).
 Electricity generated from wind energy to power 38,070 homes (133,590,000KWh/3,509KWh - UK average household consumption) (BEIS; Subnational Electricity and Gas Consumption Statistics, December 2022)).
Subnational Electricity and Gas Consumption Summary Report 2021
The Hollandmey RED would incorporate environmental enhancements including a Habitat Management Area to provide wider benefits for nature and biodiversity. Proposed enhancement measures comprise felling of commercial forestry and restoration of 168 ha of peatland habitat, providing habitat for many wader species surrounding the Phillips Mains Mire SSSI, and helping to preserve its favourable conservation status.
The Project Team can be contacted directly by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please click on the links below to view the Hollandmey RED EIA Report documents.
Pre-Application Consultation Report
Site Description and Design Evolution
Renewable Energy and Planning Policy
EIA Process and Methodology
Direct Scoping and Consultation
Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
Tables of Contents
Ecology and Biodiversity
Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Geology and Soils
Chapter 11 - Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
Access, Traffic and Transport
Chapter 13 - Noise
Socio-Economics, Recreation and Tourism
Castle of Mey Mitigation Planting Proposal
Updated Cumulative Landscape Visusal Impact
Table of Contents