- Category: Renewables
- Energy type: Onshore wind
- Project type: Project
Stronelairg wind farm is a 66 turbine wind farm on the Garrogie estate, South East of Fort Augustus. Stronelairg has an installed capacity of up to 228MW, sits at an elevation of around 600 meters above sea level, in the Monadhliath Mountain range making it one of our windiest sites.
The site sits within a natural bowl on a plateau, set well back from Loch Ness meaning that no turbines are visible from the main tourist routes in the area. Stronelairg is located close to Glendoe hydro 100MW scheme utilising Glendoe’s existing infrastructure throughout construction and now in its operation.
In February 2019, SSE signed agreements for the sale of 49.9% of Stronelairg wind farm to Greencoat UK Wind Plc (“UKW”). This sale was part of a £635m deal in which Greencoat acquired a 49.9% stake in both Stronelairg and Dunmaglass wind farms. The stakes equate to 160.6MW (megawatts) of capacity, with an average valuation for the two wind farms of around £4m per MW. This valuation demonstrates SSE’s ability develop quality, low carbon assets and infrastructure vital to the GB energy market.
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 was granted consent by the Scottish Ministers and it will have an installed capacity of up to 228MW.
Enabling works started on the project in October 2016, this involved building the access tracks ready for main construction which started in late March 2017. Turbine deliveries commenced in September 2017, the final turbine blade was lifted into place in August 2018. The project was completed and handed over the operations team in December 2018, 6 months ahead of schedule.
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.
The Stronelairg community benefit fund will deliver over £28m in funding to local and Highland projects over its 25-year operational lifespan. To find out more about the Stronelairg community fund please find our Stronelairg fund page here
The main construction works for the Stronelairg wind farm began in spring 2017. Once complete it will have an installed capacity of around 225MW, we expect construction of the wind farm to be completed in 2018.
We submitted a planning application to the Scottish Government for an 83 turbine wind farm site to the east of our Glendoe hydro scheme in June 2012. Highland Council raised no objection to the application, subject to conditions.
Conditions regarding transport among other matters were attached to the project consent and SSE is committed to working very positively with the Highland Council and the Scottish Government to put measures in place to fulfil them. Significantly, we agreed to the removal of 17 turbines from our proposal, therefore reducing the number of turbines to 66, and we agreed to reduce the height of 10 turbines, and the repositioning of one of these.
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.
Construction of Stronelairg wind farm could deliver as much as £120 million to the Highland and wider Scottish economies. The project will also deliver around £26 million in community benefit funds over the next 25 years, split between the local communities of Fort Augustus and Stratherrick and Foyers as well as the wider region through SSE’s Highland Sustainable Development Fund.
The Non-Technical Summary is also available for download below.
Press release archive
Turbine deliveries recommence at SSE’s Stronelairg wind farm
30 January 2018
Construction of energy company SSE’s 66 turbine Stronelairg wind farm, near Fort Augustus, reaches an important milestone as it recommences turbine deliveries after a winter break.
Following successful delivery and erection if its first seven turbines last year the site will receive blades, turbine tower sections and components over a 20 week period. The deliveries are scheduled to restart on the week of 5 February 2018 as the first turbine blades are transported from Kyle of Lochalsh harbour to a laydown area at Isle of Skye Aerodrome.
The route will follow Kyle Prospect Road where the harbours lower level car parking bays will be closed off for the duration of the ship offloading operation to facilitate the safe movement of the blades out of the harbour and on to the A87 to the Aerodrome. Alternative parking is made available at the Lochalsh Hotel and the Lochalsh Leisure Centre and appropriate signage directing road users to these locations will be in place.
Subject to weather conditions, it is expected that from 19 February 2018 turbine blades will then be transported from their lay down areas direct to site. This route encompasses the A87 and the A82 before turning right in Fort Augustus onto the B862. Weather permitting, the deliveries are expected to be completed by of the end of June 2018.
SSE, along with its contractors, has committed to a number of measures based on feedback from local people and other stakeholders after last year’s deliveries to improve communications and advance warning of load movements. Other measures have been taken to help minimise disruption as much as practically possible, including better signage, upgraded traffic lights at Kyle Harbour, extra alternative car parking and moving the delivery period forward to start in February with the aim to avoid impacting on the high tourist season later in the year.
On Monday 5 March 2018, subject to weather, components will start to be delivered to site from Corpach harbour. The delivery route will encompass the local road network travelling on the A830 from the harbour then onto to A82 trunk road heading north and finally turning right onto the B862 to the site entrance.
Details for these routes have been agreed with the Highland Council, Police Scotland and Transport Scotland and information on delivery dates and times can be found on the project website www.sse.com/Stronelairg
Corinna Scholes, SSE’s Community Liaison Manager, said: “Following some very wintery conditions recently, the project delivery team are raring and ready to go to transport the remaining components to site. There has been a lot of work behind the scenes to get ready for the first components arriving into Kyle of Lochalsh harbour in February.
“The deliveries will be moved under police escort who will ensure that they take place safely and with as little disruption to other road users as possible. Access will be maintained for emergency vehicles and vehicles will be able to pass the delivery vehicles safely at a number of points along the route as guided by the police.
“We would like to thank the communities in advance for their patience during the deliveries.”
Should anyone have any questions or would like to raise any issues during or after the deliveries, please contact Corinna Scholes at Corinna.firstname.lastname@example.org .
Further information on the Stronelairg project and the deliveries can also be found on the project website: www.sse.com/stronelairg.
SSE awards Highland contactor RJ McLeod multi million pound civil engineering contract
30 March 2017
Highland contractor, RJ McLeod, has been awarded the main contract for civil engineering works at SSE’s 66 turbine Stronelairg wind farm near Fort Augustus in the Great Glen. The contract award follows recent successful partnerships between the two companies in delivering both Bhlaraidh and Dunmaglass wind farms.
Construction of the project is expected to take just over two years to complete, with the site being fully operational by summer 2019. Once complete the project will generate up to 225MW during its 25 year operational lifespan.
The main works will begin by building the access tracks through the site and the spur roads out to each of the turbine locations. The construction of the turbine bases will start in late spring, together with the construction of the crane hardstanding areas, which will be used to erect the turbines.
SSE’s Head of Projects, David Sutton, said: “This is an extremely important milestone for Stronelairg wind farm and we are delighted to be working with RJ McLeod again. RJ Mcleod has an excellent track record and brings not only technical expertise but invaluable local knowledge to the project.
“During construction we will continue to bring benefits to the local community, not just through the community investment funds, but through the use of local services and the employment of local people. We have already met a number of businesses from across the Highlands to discuss the future business opportunities when construction begins at our Open 4 business event held in December. We also hope to harness the skills and talent of the local area as we see Stronelairg start to take shape.”
RJ McLeod’s north Director, Sandy Osborne, said: “We are delighted to continue our long-standing partnership with SSE. Construction works for Stronelairg will extend over two highland winters and will present many challenges for our construction operatives, engineers and joint management team. The project represents an important part of our workload and it will enable us to continue to provide ongoing and additional employment for technical and construction employees based in the Highlands, along with opportunities for the local supply chain.”
Construction of Stronelairg wind farm could deliver as much as £120 million to the Highland and wider Scottish economies. The project will also deliver around £26 million in community benefit over the next 25 years, split between the local communities as well as the wider region through SSE’s Highland Sustainable Development Fund.
For project information please visit sse.com/Stronelairg and to register your interest in supply chain opportunities with the project please visit https://www.sseopen4business-highlands.com.
Stronelairg is Open4Business
14 December 2016
SSE, along with some of their principal contractors for Stronelairg wind farm, hosted a business opportunity event in Fort Augustus at the start of the month.
Around 100 local and UK businesses attended the event to find out more about maximising the benefits and opportunities related to the construction of the Stronelairg wind farm in the Great Glen near Fort Augustus.
Corinna Scholes, SSE’s Project Liaison Manger, said; “This event is a continuation of SSE’s strategy to engage early with the local community and local businesses when developing and constructing a wind farm.
“Following previous successful business events for our other wind farms in the Highlands, we wanted to make sure we gave local businesses the best opportunity to work with us to build Stronelairg.”
Joining SSE’s Stronelairg team on the day were RJ Macleod, Vestas, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, Balfour Beatty, BAM Nuttall and Siemens, as well as members of SSE’s Open4Business Highlands and Islands team.
Open4Business was created in 2012 as a way of providing local businesses with a simple and free way to view and bid for opportunities relating to SSE’s projects in the region. Since its launch, Open4Business has awarded over £35m in the Highlands region and this looks set to continue as main construction is expected to get underway at Stronelairg in Spring 2017.
NB Civil Engineering, based in Inverness, is just one of the local businesses who have been awarded contracts through the Open4Business portal. The business is sub-contracted by RJ Macleod Contractors Ltd and has worked closely with them on a number of wind farms across the Highlands.
Keith Leslie, Managing Director of NB Civil Engineering said: “We employ 28 local people of which 80% are sub contracted to R J McLeod. Without their support and continued business opportunities through Open4Business we could not retain all our employees.”
In addition to opportunities provided by Open4Business, communities are benefiting from SSE’s projects in the Great Glen with local shops and hotels seeing an increase in trade during the low-season from November to March.
One such local business is the Lovat Hotel in Fort Augustus who attribute 40% of winter business to SSE and its sub-contractors. Martynas Salkauskas, Reservations Manager at the hotel, said: “We really appreciate the trade SSE’s projects bring. Although the area enjoys a busy summer thanks to tourism, the area quietens down during the winter months and projects like SSE’s wind farms mean we have continued footfall throughout the seasons.”
For more information on Open4Business opportunities related to Stronelairg wind farm please visit sseopen4business-highlands.com. If you would like to find out more information on the Stronelairg project please visit sse.com/Stronelairg.
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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
18/02/2013 - Fort Augustus welcomes SSE business event
07/02/2013 - SSE to hold 'Meet the Buyer' event in Fort Augustus