Bhlaraidh wind farm

  • Category: Renewables
  • Energy type: Onshore wind
  • Project type: Project

Scottish Ministers granted consent for the Bhlaraidh wind farm in January 2014. The 32 turbine project will be located on the Glenmoriston Estate north-west of Invermoriston in the Great Glen. Once complete, Bhlaraidh will have a maximum installed capacity of 108MW.

The main construction of the site started in early 2016 and the project is making excellent progress with the first 7 turbines having now been erected. The next phase of turbine erection will commence in early 2017.

Quick overview

A planning application for Bhlaraidh wind farm was submitted in summer 2012. Bhlaraidh is located to the north-west of Loch Ness, near Glenmoriston. Consent was granted in January 2014.

Highland contractor RJ McLeod was awarded the main civil works contract and enabling works began on site (pre-construction activities) in August 2015.

Main construction began in spring 2016, these works include the construction of the 32 turbine bases and crane hardstandings and associated cabling and drainage works. Construction is expected to last around 20 months.

Bhlaraidh had its first load of turbine deliveries in October 2016 and, following some weather constraints, the first seven turbine deliveries were completed in November 2016.

Turbine deliveries will resume in spring 2017, with the turbine blades travelling from Kyle of Lochalsh harbour and the turbine towers and components coming from Inverness harbour.

Latest news

Turbine delvieries will resume in early spring 2017.

If you would like to be added to the Bhlaraidh Construction Mailing List for regular project updates please contact Corinna Scholes by emailing corinna.scholes@sse.com or by phoning 07342027420.

You can also follow us on Twitter at @bhlaraidhWF.

Community

We recognise that our investments in new electricity generation benefit from the co-operation of the local community in a variety of ways, particularly during the construction phase. In recognition of this, our policy is to establish long-term funds to support community projects in areas where we are developing generation projects. 

Please visit our Community page for more information. 

More information

Project information

In summer 2012, we submitted a planning application to the Scottish Government for a 36 turbine wind farm site north-west of Loch Ness, near Glenmoriston, and the non-technical summary is available for download below. The proposal has recently been granted consent by the Scottish Ministers and it will have an installed capacity of up to 108MW. We expect construction to take around 20 months.

During the coming months we will be working to address the conditions associated with the consent ahead of the construction phase. In the meantime, we will continue to keep the local community and local stakeholders updated on the project as it progresses.

In choosing the Bhlaraidh site, we have taken care to minimise impact to the environment, including the use of existing roads and tracks, and the wind farm has been designed to avoid being seen from the main tourist routes and iconic attractions of the Great Glen.

In May of 2012, we held a round of public exhibitions, during which we presented the final design to local communities for the project. A copy of the exhibition boards and the leaflet from these exhibitions is available below. We also presented the final design for another wind farm in the wider area, at Stronelairg.

We have been gathering wind data from the site since 2009, when meteorological masts were erected, and survey work has been undertaken.

In March 2011, we entered the scoping stage of the project and a scoping report was issued to statutory and non-statutory consultees including local community councils, in order to obtain feedback and refine the scope of the environmental work that we planned to undertake. You will find a copy of the scoping report below.

In parallel with this scoping exercise, we held public exhibitions at the end of March 2011 in Fort Augustus and Balnain in order to engage with the local community on this proposal. Copies of the exhibition material from these initial exhibitions can be found below. Comments forms were available at these and the final design has been developed in response to consultation feedback from statutory and non-statutory consultees and the findings from the environmental work we have undertaken.

As a result of the consultation and environmental studies, the site area has now been carefully re-designed and the number of turbines has reduced leaving turbines in the south-west corner of the survey area. These turbines now sit solely within the Glenmoriston Estate in the Levishie Forest area and the project name has been changed from Balmacaan wind farm to Bhlaraidh wind farm.

Key contacts list
Bhlaraidh non-technical summary
Bhlaraidh wind farm exhibition boards - May 2012
Bhlaraidh wind farm leaflet - May 2012
Balmacaan exhibition boards - March 2011
Balmacaan leaflet - March 2011
Balmacaan wind farm scoping report - March 2011
Bhlaraidh access plan
Bhlaraidh traffic management plan

Press release archive

Consent granted for Bhlaraidh wind farm
17 January 2014

SSE today (17/01/2014) welcomed the decision by Scottish Ministers to grant consent, with associated planning conditions, for Bhlaraidh wind farm, situated north-west of Invermoriston in the Great Glen.

The wind farm, which will have a maximum capacity of 108MW, is located on Glenmoriston Estate and will comprise 32 turbines.

Colin Nicol, Director of Onshore Renewables said: “SSE welcomes the decision from Scottish Ministers on Bhlaraidh wind farm, and work to address the conditions associated with the consent will now commence ahead of the construction phase.

“During this period, SSE will be engaging with local people. We hope to continue the strong community relationships formed historically in Glenmoriston as a result of our hydro power generation, and through the wind farm proposal in more recent years.

“SSE is recognised as a responsible developer and will be working with both Highland Council and the Development Initiative of the Great Glen (DIGG) group* to make sure this project is delivered as smoothly as possible while maximising the social and economic benefits to the local area.

“We are keen to ensure that local businesses are afforded as many opportunities as possible during construction, which is exactly what our new Open4Business portal is designed to do. In addition, SSE will be providing up to £13million of community investment funds over the next 25 years.

“We estimate as much as £74million could be secured by Highland and other Scottish companies, and that significant local employment opportunities will be created. This contribution to the local economy cannot be under-valued and we are particularly pleased to be investing in an area like Glenmoriston where our relationship as a company with the local community is long established”.

Stuart Findlay, Chair of Fort Augustus and Glen Moriston Community Council said,
“This is great news for the community as we believe this project will bring significant benefits to the area. There will be job opportunities including those for young people. We are also very pleased with the way that SSE has kept us informed and engaged on the project and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them.”

SSE currently has over 2,500MW of commissioned renewable energy capacity in the UK and Ireland including hydro, onshore wind, offshore wind and biomass.

 

17/01/2014 - Consent granted for Bhlaraidh wind farm
18/02/2013 - Fort Augustus welcomes SSE business event
07/02/2013 - SSE to hold 'Meet the Buyer' event in Fort Augustus