Stronelairg

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

Following the recent result of the appeal of the Judicial Review on Stronelairg wind farm, SSE’s Wholesale business is now undertaking further work to see whether it will be possible to accredit the project under the Renewables Obligation. This will be considered as part of any final investment decision and SSE will provide a further update in its Notification of Close Period statement on 28 September. 

Stronelairg will not be seen from the Great Glen’s key tourist routes, will be entirely invisible from Loch Ness and will utilise the extensive existing infrastructure at our Glendoe hydro scheme.

Stronelairg is a carefully designed project that was strongly supported by many local stakeholders was not opposed by the local community council and was supported by the Highland Council planning committee and will bring significant benefits to the local and wider economy.

Please click here for a detailed map of the wind farm and surrounding area.

Please click here for a factsheet on Stronelairg wind farm.

Quick overview

In summer 2012, we submitted a planning application to the Scottish Government for a wind farm site south-east of Fort Augustus in the Great Glen, 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 240MW.

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.

Latest news

On 22 July, SSE welcomed the ruling of the Court of Session on the appeal of the Stronelairg Judicial Review.

The ruling brought good news to a project that would bring significant benefits to the local and wider economy.


Stronelairg is a carefully designed project with the carbon payback estimated to be around 16 months. It was strongly supported by many local stakeholders, was not opposed by the local community council and was supported by the Highland Council planning committee.

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

The Stronelairg wind farm proposal has recently been granted consent by the Scottish Ministers and it will have an installed capacity of up to 240MW.  We expect construction to take around 36 months. 

We submitted a planning application to the Scottish Government for an 83 turbine wind farm site to the east of our Glendoe Hydro Electric scheme in June 2012. The project was discussed by Highland Council at their South Planning Committee in April 2013, resulting in no objection from the local authority, subject to conditions.

A range of conditions regarding transport and concrete batching among other matters were raised during the committee meeting and SSE is committed to working very positively with the Council and the Scottish Government to put these measures in place. In addition, we have confirmed our agreement to the removal of 16 turbines from our proposal, therefore reducing the number of turbines to 67, and we have agreed to reduce the height of 10 turbines, and the repositioning of one of these.

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 Stronelairg 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 Bhlaraidh near Invermoriston.

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 Stratherrick 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. 

The Non-Technical Summary is also available for download below.

Press release archive

SSE welcomes consent for Stronelairg wind farm

6 June 2014

SSE today (Friday) welcomed the decision by Scottish Ministers to grant consent, with associated planning conditions, for Stronelairg wind farm, situated south-east of Fort Augustus in the Great Glen. The wind farm will have 67 turbines with a maximum capacity of up to 240MW and is located on Garrogie Estate.

The project is to be built around SSE’s existing Glendoe hydro scheme, using existing access roads which run right through the wind farm site. The project is situated on a plateau set well back (around 14km) from Loch Ness and no turbines will be visible throughout the main tourist routes of the Great Glen, Loch Ness and Cairngorm National Park.

Colin Nicol, Lead Director of Wholesale Generation Development, said: “SSE is delighted with the decision from Scottish Ministers on Stronelairg wind farm, it is a fantastic project which will bring real socio-economic benefits to the Great Glen area including job creation, skills training, business opportunities and substantial community funds.

“SSE is a responsible developer and we have built on the strong community relationships formed historically in the Great Glen as a result of our hydro power generation. When planning Stronelairg, we worked very closely with these communities and stakeholders to minimise any local impacts and this includes utilising the existing Glendoe hydro access road infrastructure. We are also working with Highland Council and their Development Initiative of the Great Glen (DIGG) group* to ensure this project is delivered as smoothly as possible.

“We are keen to ensure that local businesses are afforded as many opportunities as possible during construction, which is exactly what our Open4Business** portal is designed to do. We estimate as much as £120 million could be secured by Highland and other Scottish companies, and that significant local employment opportunities will be created. In addition, SSE will be providing up to £30 million of community funds for 25 years from the construction start.

Willie Cameron, Highland Tourism Ambassador and local business person from the Cobbs Group of Companies and Loch Ness Marketing, said: “This is brilliant news for the Great Glen and for local people. I have lived and worked in the area for decades in the tourism industry, and have seen many changes both here and across the Highlands, and I welcome today's decision to grant consent for Stronelairg wind farm.

“I believe it has been well sited and carefully designed and it will have zero effect on tourism as a result. Developments like this help to build a lasting legacy for future generations and it is good to see our natural resources being harnessed for the long term benefit of the country and the local community."

Press release archive

06/06/2014 - SSE welcomes consent for Stronelairg wind farm

08/04/2013 - SSE Renewables welcomes decision on Stronelairg wind farm and re-affirms its commitment to the Highlands

19/02/2013 - SSE Renewables welcomes Highland Council visit to proposed new wind farm

18/02/2013 - Fort Augustus welcomes SSE business event

07/02/2013 - SSE to hold 'Meet the Buyer' event in Fort Augustus