A greener future for Glenmuckloch mine

A greener future beckons for the former Glenmuckloch opencast coal site in Dumfries and Galloway with a proposal to build eight wind turbines adjacent to the working mine.

Buccleuch subsidiary Glenmuckloch Renewable Energy Limited has received planning consent from Dumfries and Galloway Council to build eight 3.2 MW turbines at the site.

If the scheme proceeds, the wind farm would complement two community-owned turbines already operating at Glenmuckloch and could work alongside another proposal to build a pumped storage hydro scheme at the opencast site.

It is estimated the eight turbines would together generate enough clean energy to power around 16,000 homes as well as contributing towards targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A socio-economic report produced by consultants Biggar Economics estimates that during the development and construction phase the proposal could generate £4.4 million and support 35 job years of employment in Dumfries and Galloway. Once operational, the wind farm could generate £0.4 million per annum (£9.8 million over 25 years) and support three jobs in the region.

In addition, Glenmuckloch Renewable Energy Ltd has committed to provide an annual community benefit or £5,000 per installed MW. This would provide more than £100,000 locally each year, providing community benefit of approximately £3.2 million over the lifetime of the windfarm.

John Glen, chief executive of Buccleuch, said:

“For five years we have been working closely with the local community and Hargreaves Surface Mining to restore and transform the site.

“Renewable energy offers great opportunities for the area and the combination of pumped storage and on-site wind generation are a very natural fit.

“Viewed together as an integrated system, they would act as a catalyst for economic growth and could form a central plank of a collaborative regional industrial strategy that would generate new jobs and economic growth.”