Gordonbush extension

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

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 (turbine 15), reduction in height of one other (turbine 11 from 130m tip height to 115m to tip height) and house each turbine transformer internally (rather than externally as originally proposed). We have agreed to progress our proposals in line with the Councils recommendations.  This has resulted in the following changes:

  • To construct an extension to the Gordonbush wind farm comprising 12 turbines up to 130m to tip height, with three turbines up to a maximum tip height of 115m.
  • To amend the site track layout (as a result of removing one turbine from the original proposal)

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

A copy of the FEI can be found here.

 

Image of the Gordonbush Wind Farm

Quick overview

The 35 turbine Gordonbush wind farm, located around 12km north west of Brora, in Sutherland has been operational since June 2012. Since 2013 we have been exploring the potential for an extension to Gordonbush in an area to the south west of the current site and wholly within Brora Community Council's boundary area. 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.

Latest news

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. In addition to these changes, the turbine transformers will be housed within the turbines (rather than externally as originally proposed) and the site track layout will be amended due to the removal of one of the originally proposed turbines.

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

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 search 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, has been 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.  The ES is available for download from our ‘Important Documents’ section.  Representations were to be made by 14 August 2015.

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

SSE Generation Limited

ELECTRICITY ACT 1989

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1997

THE ELECTRICITY WORKS (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2000

Notice is hereby given that SSE Generation Limited, company registration number 02310571 and office at One Forbury Place, 43 Forbury Road, Reading, RG1 3JH has applied to the Scottish Ministers for consent to construct and operate an extension to the existing wind farm at Gordonbush Estate, approximately 9.5km to the north west of Brora (Central Grid Reference 284737, 913302) and for a direction under Section 57(2) of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 that planning permission for the development be deemed to be granted. The installed capacity of the proposed generating station would be 52.5 MW comprising 15 turbines: 12 turbines with a ground to blade tip height of 130 metres and 3 turbines with a ground to blade tip height of 115 metres.

SSE Generation Limited has now submitted to Scottish Ministers further information in the form of a Further Environmental Information (FEI) report including an assessment of a revision to the proposed Development, which includes removal of one turbine, reduction in height of another turbine, and an amendment to the track layout and change to the permanent meteorological mast location, in respect of each of the environmental topics assessed in the Gordonbush Wind Farm Extension Environmental Statement (June 2015).

Copies of the FEI report have been provided explaining the Company’s proposals in more detail and are available for inspection during normal office hours at:

The Highland Council
Department of Planning & Development
Glenurquhart Road
Inverness
IV3 5NX

The Highland Council
Area Planning Office
Drummuie
Golspie
KW10 6TA


The FEI report can also be viewed at the Scottish Government Library at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ. A copy of the further information has been made available to The Highland Council for public inspection at the addresses detailed above.

Copies of the FEI report may be obtained from SSE Renewables Developments (UK) Ltd (tel: 0141 224 7245) at a charge of £350 per hard copy and £10 on CD.

Any representations should be made in writing to The Scottish Government, Energy Consents Unit, 4th Floor, 5 Atlantic Quay, 150 Broomielaw, Glasgow G2 8LU or emailed to representations@gov.scot identifying the proposal and specifying grounds for objection or support, not later than 18th November 2016.

Representations should be dated and should clearly state the name (in block capitals) and full return email and postal address of those making representation. Only representations sent by email to the address stipulated will receive acknowledgement.

All previous representations received in relation to this development remain valid.

Important documents

Further Environmental Information - October 2016

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