Renewable energy developer Burcote Wind has officially submitted an application to the Scottish Government for a nineteen-turbine wind farm at Creggan, Glenbarr, West Kintyre in Argyll and Bute. Burcote Wind believes the project has the potential to provide a significant contribution to Scottish Government renewable energy targets, create skills and generate jobs, support local small and medium sized businesses and provide significant economic opportunities in the local area surrounding the project site. It would also give an important boost to Wind Towers (Scotland) Limited, the wind tower manufacturing plant located some twenty miles to the south of the project site.
Located to the north-east of the village of Glenbarr, the installed capacity of the proposed wind farm would be approximately 62.7MW comprising 19 turbines with a ground to blade tip height of up to 125 metres. The application for consent also includes proposals for significant habitat, species and cultural heritage enhancement. The wind farm has the potential to provide sufficient electricity to meet the needs of up to 33,552 homes and to displace up to 61,548 tonnes of CO2 per year, based on the average generation mix of Scottish power sources.
The Creggan wind farm proposal includes plans for an associated community benefit fund, based on delivering £5,000 per MW (megawatt) of installed capacity per year that would provide almost £8 million for the local community over the lifetime of the wind farm. Burcote Wind has been working closely with the community to explore how this funding could be used to help regenerate the area by supporting the development of the core infrastructure needed to boost the local economy and to bring jobs, skills and economic development to the area.
Prior to submitting the application for consent, Burcote Wind has been consulting extensively with the local community over more than two years. As well as two separate rounds of public exhibitions, held locally in February 2012 and September 2013, Burcote has sent out newsletters to and met nearby residents, met and briefed local Councillors and the local Community Council, established a detailed project website (www.cregganwindfarm.com), and set up a Community Liaison Group (CLG) to discuss the proposals and key priorities for the community benefit fund in greater detail.
Feedback from the local community during the pre-application consultation period has contributed to the preparation of a draft community development plan, outlining how the £313,500 per year community benefit fund could be used over the 25-year lifetime of the wind farm. Key priorities identified so far have included support for a number of substantial initiatives focused on Glenbarr as well as other projects that would cover the wider West Kintyre area. A proportion of the funds could also be allocated to a legacy fund, providing the local community with an ongoing income beyond the wind farm’s anticipated 25-year lifetime.
Feedback from the second set of public exhibitions hosted in Glenbarr and Campbeltown suggests a substantial majority of local people have been happy with the community consultation undertaken by Burcote Wind and feel that their comments have been reflected in the final application submission.
66% of respondents completing a questionnaire at the September events agreed, either fully or to some extent, that the local community have been given an adequate opportunity to input into the proposals and that their views have been taken into account.
Burcote Wind recently re-confirmed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with Wind Towers (Scotland) Limited which would give the plant the opportunity to supply wind towers to the company’s pipeline of onshore wind energy projects throughout Scotland, including Creggan. The agreement also commits both companies to work together on the development of a joint training initiative to create lasting manufacturing and engineering jobs locally.
Burcote Wind’s Chairman, Graham Brown, said:
“This is a significant project with the potential to create a long-term legacy of social and economic benefit to the local area, as well as supporting jobs and skills at Wind Towers, one of Kintyre’s largest local employers.
“Over more than two years, our community consultation has generated a range of constructive ideas, advice and feedback, all of which have helped shape the final application we are now submitting. We have worked very hard to understand the needs and concerns of the local community in Glenbarr and the surrounding area. This has fed directly into the final turbine lay-out and the draft community development plan accompanying the application.
Dennis Breugelmans, Managing Director of Wind Towers (Scotland) Limited, said:
“Witnessing the ongoing progress of pipeline projects such as Creggan is extremely important for Wind Towers. We depend on a healthy order book of onshore and offshore projects to sustain our workforce and realise our ambition of increasing the plant’s capacity still further. We’re very proud to be able to offer so many high quality apprenticeship and employment opportunities in Kintyre. Seeing more projects like Creggan reach fruition will help us to continue doing that well into the future.”
Burcote Wind Chairman Graham Brown concluded:
“Overall, there is a recognition within the local community of the positive transformative effect our proposals could have in terms of revitalising the local economy, helping to build infrastructure and supporting and creating skills and employment. We will continue to work with the community to ensure that, if the project is consented, that ambition can be fully realised.”
Further information on the proposals can be found on the project website (www.cregganwindfarm.com), including how to submit representations to the application process. As the application has been submitted close to the Christmas holidays, the consultation period for representations on the proposals has been extended to 5 February 2014. Please see the website and local press adverts for further information.
Notes to Editors
Burcote Wind is an independent renewable energy company based in Dunfermline, Scotland, but active throughout the UK. The company specialises in onshore wind energy projects from the identification and design stage right through to construction and operation. www.burcotewind.com.
The full details of the planning application, including the detailed technical Environmental Statement and the pre-application consultation (PAC) report, will shortly be accessible on the planning section of the Argyll and Bute Council website: http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/planning-and-environment . A non-technical summary of the application and the PAC report is accessible on the project website: www.cregganwindfarm.com.
Wind Towers (Scotland) was established in 2011, with investment from SSE and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It has since established itself as a specialist supplier of high quality wind turbine towers to markets across Europe. Based near Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland, the 18.25 hectare site comprises 3 tower production buildings, a surface treatment facility, a tower fitting out facility, a storage warehouse and a steel yard/tower storage area. The company employs approximately 130 people from Campbeltown and the Kintyre area all of whom are dedicated to providing a high quality service to its valued clients.
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