Tom nan Clach Wind Farm Repowering refused

The Highland Council Couth Planning Committee today refused redesign proposals for the consented Tom nan Clach Wind Farm.

Renewable energy company Infinergy on behalf of Nanclach Limited, is bitterly disappointed that Members of The Highland Council have gone against Officer recommendation and refused the application for a redesign of Tom nan Clach Wind Farm on Cawdor Estate, for which it initially gained consent in July 2013. The new proposal looks to utilise recent technology gains to help increase the renewable energy output from the site by 26% while reducing turbine numbers from 17 to 13.

Tom nan Clach Wind Farm currently has consent for 17 turbines, each with an installed capacity of 2.3MW, but a grid connection date of 2018. Wind turbine technology and design principles have evolved and improved a great deal in the last three years and so, given the time available between consent and connection to the grid, the site has been subject to further research and environmental studies. An application to ‘repower’ with 13 slightly larger turbines, but the same overall installed capacity of 39MW was made to The Highland Council in August last year.

Infinergy's Esbjorn Wilmar commented: “This is an extremely disappointing decision by The Highland Council. This redesign provides an opportunity to greatly increase the renewable electricity generated on the site. Compared to the initially consented scheme, the slightly larger candidate turbine of the repowering means a reduction in the numbers required and therefore a reduction in the infrastructure on site, but more importantly increases the predicted energy produced by the wind farm by approximately 26%. This means that nearly 20,000 more homes could be supplied with renewable energy as well as a further 15,000 tonnes of CO2 being saved per year of operation, which is expected to be 25 years.

It beggars belief that during the debate in the chamber, the councillors did not consider this point at all. They don’t seem to be interested in the slightest in the opportunity to generate more renewable energy from an already consented site. With the positive milestone of signing the Paris agreement, it is sometimes hard to see how we can deliver on the local level.”

Nanclach Limited will now consider its options to appeal this decision.

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