Energy initiative offers potential to positively transform remote area

Buccleuch and 2020 Renewables are together looking at the potential for a significant windfarm in the Lowther Hills between Sanquhar and Wanlockhead in Dumfries and Galloway

The proposal is being developed by the North Lowther Energy Initiative Ltd (NLEI), a joint venture between Buccleuch Estates and 2020 Renewables and currently comprises up to 35 turbines each with a maximum output of between three and five megawatts (MW). The current grid connection contract is for a total of 151 MW.

If the project proceeds, the economic, environmental and community benefits could transform the area.

Discussions have taken place with the local community, local landowners, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Government.

Following a public meeting and subsequent exhibition held in Wanlockhead, NLEI has submitted a scoping report to statutory and non-statutory consultees, a copy of which can be viewed here. We have, in addition, writen to interested local groups and individuals with a copy of the report.

NLEI has indicated that it will offer full community benefit and the opportunity to participate in shared ownership of the scheme in line with Scottish Government Good Practice Principles for Shared Ownership of Onshore Renewable Energy Developments.

Foundation Scotland – a not-for-profit organisation – has been engaged by NLEI to work with local communities to develop ideas on how community benefit could be managed.

Should it progress, the scheme would create significant community benefit as well as 100-150 construction jobs over a four-year period with five to six full time equivalent operational jobs on completion.

The project would also see the creation of landscape-scale habitat management plans in addition to the wind farm development. It is expected an application will be made in 2017.

The North Lowther Energy Initiative planning application was submitted in June 2017, you can find the full planning application here.

Further details of the project can be found at www.northlowther.co.uk

NLEI case study.