Designing and assessing an onshore wind farm in the Highlands of Scotland
The proposed Kirkan Onshore Wind Farm is an 82-MW renewable energy generation development being promoted by Kirkan Wind Farm Limited (a joint venture between Coriolis Energy and ESB) in the Highland region of Scotland. The proposed development will comprise 17 wind turbines with a maximum height to blade tip of 175 m and associated infrastructure. This will include the 17 turbines; about 10,800 m of access track; two meteorological masts; two borrow pits; transformers and underground cables; an on-site substation/control building; and four temporary construction compounds, one of which would potentially be retained to permanently host a battery energy storage system (BESS). The individual turbine generating capacity has been assumed to be up to 4.8 MW; therefore, the total generating capacity for the development is expected to be in the region of 82 MW.
The site of the proposed development sits within the Garve District of the Ross and Cromarty region of the Highlands in Scotland. It lies to the south of the A835 trunk road from Garve to Ullapool, to the east of the operational Corriemoillie and Lochluichart wind farms. Surrounding land use consists of open moorland deer stalking and rough grazing.
RSK was commissioned by Kirkan Wind Farm Limited to assist with the design of the proposed development and the coordination of the environmental impact assessment (EIA). With a focus on design optimisation and productivity, we coordinated the environmental- and social-constraints-led design for the site, including the management and completion of all environmental surveys, data assimilation to inform design and coordination of design workshops. We also contributed to the organisation and management of key public consultation events in accordance with best practice. The full EIA and Section 36 application for the development were completed and submitted by RSK in March 2019 to the agreed timescales and budget and included relevant Energy Consents Unit (ECU) gate-check requirements. Following the submission, we were responsible for supporting Kirkan Wind Farm Limited in responding to stakeholder queries and the submission of supplementary environmental information to assist the ECU in the determination of the application. Following consideration of statutory authority representations, the application is currently entering into the due process of public inquiry and RSK continues to assist the client in that regard.