Bhlaraidh wind farm
- Category: Renewables
- Energy type: Onshore wind
- Project type: Asset
Bhlaraidh wind farm is a 32 turbine windfarm located on the Glenmoriston Estate north-west of Invermoriston in the Great Glen. Bhlaraidh has maximum installed capacity of 108MW and has been fully operational since August 2017.
We operate a leading community investment programme, delivering financial support to a diverse range of community projects near to our renewable developments in the UK and Ireland. Please visit our Communities page for more information.
A planning application for Bhlaraidh wind farm was submitted in summer 2012 and consent was granted in January 2014. Bhlaraidh is located in an upland plateau and has been designed so not to be seen from major tourist routes.
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.
Bhlaraidh took delivery of 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 resumed in spring 2017, with the turbine blades travelling from Kyle of Lochalsh harbour and the turbine towers and components coming from Inverness harbour.
Construction was completed in early autumn and handed over to the Renewable Operations team in November 2017.
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 Communities page for more 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