Gordonbush extension

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

On 29 September 2017, Scottish Ministers granted consent for the construction and operation of the proposed 15 turbine extension to the existing operational Gordonbush wind farm, located around 12km north west of Brora, in Sutherland.

NOTICE OF DECISION

SSE Generation Limited

ELECTRICITY ACT 1989

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1997

THE ELECTRICITY WORKS (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT)(SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2017

As directed by regulation 23(4) of the Electricity Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) 2017, notice is hereby given that SSE Generation Limited (“the Company”) has been granted consent by Scottish Ministers to construct and operate a 15 turbine wind farm (extension) known as Gordonbush Extension Wind Farm,  (with 12 turbines having a ground to blade tip height of up to 130 metres and 3 turbines having a ground to blade tip height of up to 115 metres),  in lands at Gordonbush Estate, to the North West of Brora, in the relevant Planning Authority area of The Highland Council.

Scottish Ministers have also directed, under Section 57 (2) of the Town & Country Planning Act (Scotland) 1997, that planning permission is deemed to be granted. 

Copies of the decision statement and related documentation can be obtained on the Energy Consents website: www.energyconsents.scot

Copies of the decision statement and related documentation have been made available to The Highland Council to be made available for public inspection by being placed on the planning register.

In June 2015, following extensive design, development and consultation we submitted a Section 36 application to the Scottish Government proposing a 16 turbine extension to the existing 35 turbine Gordonbush wind farm, located approximately 12km north west of Brora in Sutherland. As key stakeholders, the Highland Council were consulted by the Scottish Government and the planning committee voted to support the proposal subject to the removal of one of the proposed turbines, reduction in height of one other (from 130m tip height to 115m to tip height) and house each turbine transformer internally (rather than externally as originally proposed). We agreed to progress our proposals in line with the Councils recommendations.

We submitted Further Environmental Information (FEI) to the Scottish Government to quantify the environmental impacts of the changes noted above, which were found to be not significant.

The project team are now considering the best way possible to take the project forward.

 

Image of the Gordonbush Wind Farm

Quick overview

The 35 turbine Gordonbush wind farm, located around 12km north west of Brora, in Sutherland became operational in June 2012. We have been exploring the potential for an extension to Gordonbush since 2013, in an area to the south west of the current site. We held a public consultation exhibition in October 2013 followed by extensive design, development and consultation.

In June 2015 we submitted a Section 36 application to the Scottish Government proposing a 16 turbine extension. The Highland Council, as key stakeholders, were consulted by the Scottish Government and voted to support the proposal subject to the removal of one of the proposed turbines, the reduction in height of one other and the housing of each turbine transformer internally (rather than externally as originally proposed).

In October 2016 we submitted Further Environmental Information (FEI) to the Scottish Government after agreeing to progress our proposals in line with the recommendations of the Highland Council.

Consent to construct and operate a 15 turbine extension wind farm was granted by Scottish Ministers on Friday 29 September 2017.

Latest news

Having been awarded consent to construct and operate a 15 turbine extension wind farm on 29 September 2017, we are considering the best way possible to take the project forward.

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

Background

Gordonbush is an operational 35 turbine wind farm approximately 12km north west of Brora, in Sutherland. Construction began in 2010 and it became operational in June 2012.

Development

Beginning in 2013 we explored the potential for an extension to Gordonbush. The proposed area sits to the south west of the current site, approximately 9.5km from Brora, located wholly within Brora Community Council's boundary area.

In September 2013 we issued a Scoping Report to statutory and non-statutory consultees, including the local Community Councils of Brora, Golspie, Helmsdale and Rogart, for comment. A copy of the Scoping Report is available in our ‘Important documents’ section below.

We held a public consultation in October 2013, early in the development process, to gather views on the proposed extension. The project team then worked closely with key consultees and undertook detailed surveys and assessments over two years. The findings were fed into the design development together with feedback from the exhibitions. We also met with the four Community Councils during the early part of 2015 in order to update them on the proposals prior to the final design exhibition. In May 2015 we held a second exhibition to present the final design to the community and engage with them on their views.

Submission

In June 2015 we submitted a Section 36 application to the Scottish Government for a proposed 16 turbine extension to Gordonbush wind farm.

A statutory consultation, seeking views on the proposal, was held by the Scottish Government. Copies of the application and accompanying Environmental Statement (ES) were issued to statutory consultees, including the four local Community Councils, and public copies were available to view at the Highland Council offices in Inverness and Golspie.

Further Environmental Information (October 2016)

In October 2016 we agreed to progress our proposals in line with the recommendations of the Highland Council who, as key stakeholders, voted to support our proposals subject to the removal of one of the originally proposed turbines and the reduction in height of another.

We submitted Further Environmental Information (FEI) to the Scottish Government to quantify the environmental impacts of these changes. You can view the FEI here.

Consent

Consent for the proposed 15 turbine extension wind farm was granted by Scottish Ministers on 29 September 2017.

NOTICE OF DECISION

SSE Generation Limited

ELECTRICITY ACT 1989

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1997

THE ELECTRICITY WORKS (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT)(SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2017

As directed by regulation 23(4) of the Electricity Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) 2017, notice is hereby given that SSE Generation Limited (“the Company”) has been granted consent by Scottish Ministers to construct and operate a 15 turbine wind farm (extension) known as Gordonbush Extension Wind Farm,  (with 12 turbines having a ground to blade tip height of up to 130 metres and 3 turbines having a ground to blade tip height of up to 115 metres),  in lands at Gordonbush Estate, to the North West of Brora, in the relevant Planning Authority area of The Highland Council.

Scottish Ministers have also directed, under Section 57 (2) of the Town & Country Planning Act (Scotland) 1997, that planning permission is deemed to be granted. 

Copies of the decision statement and related documentation can be obtained on the Energy Consents website: www.energyconsents.scot

Copies of the decision statement and related documentation have been made available to The Highland Council to be made available for public inspection by being placed on the planning register.

Important documents

September 2017 - Consent Decision
October 2016 - FEI Report
October 2016 - Appendix 1 - Request for FEI
October 2016 - Figure 1.1 - Site Context
October 2016 - Figure 1.2 - Site Layout
October 2016 - Appendix 2 - Estimation of Peat Disturbance
October 2016 - Appendix 3 - Windfarm Calculator V2.9.0 Revised May 2016
October 2016 - Figure 2.1a
October 2016 - Figure 2.1b
October 2016 - Figure 2.1c
October 2016 - Figure 2.2a
October 2016 - Figure 2.2b
October 2016 - Figure 2.3a
October 2016 - Figure 2.3b
October 2016 - Figure 2.4
October 2016 - Figure 2.5a
October 2016 - Figure 2.5b
October 2016 - Figure 2.6
October 2016 - Figure 2.7
October 2016 - Figure 4.1 - Interpreted Peat Thickness - Full Thickness
October 2016 - Figure 4.2 - Interpreted Peat Thickness - Peat Only (greater 0.5m)
October 2016 - Figure 6.1 - Cultural Heritage Sites within Site Boundary
October 2016 - Figures 2.8a-c - VP1
October 2016 - Figures 2.9a-c to 2.10a-d - VP2-3
October 2016 - Figures 2.11a-d - VP4
October 2016 - Figures 2.12a-d - VP5
October 2016 - Figures 2.13a-d - VP6
October 2016 - Figures 2.14a-d - VP7
October 2016 - Figures 2.15a-d - VP8
October 2016 - Figures 2.16a-c to 2.17a-c - VP9-10
October 2016 - Figures 2.18a-c to 2.19a-c - VP11-12
October 2016 - Figures 2.20a-c to 2.21a-c - VP13-14
October 2016 - Figures 2.22a-c to 2.24a-c - VP15-17
October 2016 - Volume 2 - Cover and Contents
October 2016 - Volume 3 - THC Visuals RFS Pt1
October 2016 - Volume 3 - THC Visuals RFS Pt2


June 2015 - Non Technical Summary (NTS)

May 2015 – Exhibition board 1: Overview

May 2015 – Exhibition board 2: The development process
May 2015 – Exhibition board 3: The proposal
May 2015 – Exhibition board 4: Design evolution
May 2015 – Exhibition board 5: Environmental considerations
May 2015 – Exhibition board 6: Landscape and visual assessment
May 2015 – Exhibition board 7: Next steps
May 2015 – Exhibition board 8: Investing in the community
May 2015 – Exhibition board 9: Working with local businesses
May 2015 - Comments form (final design)

Oct 2013 - Exhibition boards
Oct 2013 - Exhibition leaflet
Sep 2013 - Scoping report