Windfarms near Coalburn Part 2

This article deals with newer developments in windfarms in the area.

Douglas West Windfarm

Douglas West Windfarm

Douglas West Windfarm as seen from near Timbertown in Coalburn. Photo; 21st July 2021 Geoff Brown.

The title Douglas West Windfarm is a ittle confusing as it is nearer Coalburn and Poneil than Douglas. Access is from the roundabout on the B7078 at Poneil. The Windfarm uses the road structure that was built for the Dalquhandy Opencast Mine.

Douglas West Wind Farm is located on land owned by Mitchell Energy Ltd, 1.2 km south of the village of Coalburn in rural South Lanarkshire. 3R Energy (via project company Douglas West Wind Farm Ltd) developed and consented to this 45MW wind farm comprising 13 turbines with a ground to blade tip height of 149.9 metres.

The project company is now owned by Greencoat UK Wind plc, one of the UK's largest owners of wind farm assets outside of the major energy utilities. Douglas West Wind Farm was constructed in 2021 using Vestas V-136 machines and is now operational.

Douglas West Windfarm

Douglas West Windfarm as seen from near Timbertown in Coalburn. Photo; 21st July 2021 Geoff Brown.

Community benefit contributions of £225,000 per annum will be provided from this project to support groups and projects within the local area. Douglas West is one of the first wind farms to be built in the UK without public subsidy.

The coverage of the Douglas West Windfarm is being extended by two projects under development - the Douglas West Windfarm Extension and the Cumberhead West Windfarm.

Sources of Information


Douglas West Wind Farm Extension

The site constitutes a gap between Douglas West Wind Farm, Hagshaw Hill Wind Farm, and a number of other consented wind farms on the north side of the Douglas Valley. The application seeks consent to construct and operate a wind farm with a generating capacity of up to 78MW, comprising 13 wind turbines and associated infrastructure with a ground to blade tip height of up to 200 metres.

The Proposed Development also includes provision for around 20MW of energy storage capacity. Community benefit contributions of £390,000 per annum will be provided from this project to support groups and projects within the local area.

The windfarm was planned by 3R Energy who have entered into a joint-venture agreement with ScottishPower Renewables to deliver this project.

The Section 36 Application for this project was consented by the Scottish Ministers on the 18th November 2021.

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Cumberhead West Wind Farm

Cumberhead West Wind Farm Ltd is a joint venture between Lanark-based 3R Energy and ScottishPower Renewables (UK) Limited (SPR)

It is located within Cumberhead Forest, around 7.7 km west north-west of Douglas, in rural South Lanarkshire. The proposed Development site adjoins an established cluster of wind farms around Hagshaw Hill (known as the "Hagshaw Cluster"). Community benefit contributions of £630,000 per annum will be provided from this project to support groups and projects within the local area.

Consent was granted on the 18th November 2021 for the construction and operation of Cumberhead West Wind Farm, comprising of 21 wind turbines with tip height not exceeding 200 metres with an installed capacity of approximately 126MW, and an energy storage facility with a capacity of approximately 40MW.

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Hagshaw Hill Wind Farm Repowering

In May 2020, 3R Energy (via project company Hagshaw Hill Repowering Ltd) was granted consent by the Scottish Ministers to replace the 26 existing turbines on Hagshaw Hill with 14 new, larger and more efficient turbines. This is a process known as "repowering" where older first-generation turbines are replaced with modern units that are quieter, more reliable and capable of producing more electricity, more efficiently.

The existing Hagshaw Hill Wind Farm is operational and comprises 26 wind turbines at 55m height to tip, and associated infrastructure with a total generating capacity of 15.6MW. Planning permission was granted by the then Clydesdale District Council in February 1995 and it was constructedthe same year to become Scotland's first commercial wind farm. The Hagshaw Hill Repowering project will therefore comprise the repowering and extension of the existing Hagshaw Hill Wind Farm.

The repowered Hagshaw will deliver approximately 6 times the amount of renewable electricity and 14 times the community benefit of the existing wind farm, from just over half the number of turbines. The consent also includes 30MW of energy storage capacity. Community benefit contributions of £420,000 per annum will be provided from this project to support groups and projects within the local area.

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The Hagshaw Hill Cluster

In September 2019, NatureScot brought together a group of wind farm developers and operators with South Lanarkshire Council and East Ayrshire Council to discuss how they could collaborate on the future development of wind farms in the Hagshaw energy cluster. The cluster is located between the communities of Coalburn, Douglas and Muirkirk, to the west of the M74. NatureScot engaged with Historic Scotland, SEPA and Scottish Forestry and a range of consultants involved in the cluster and together scoped out the topics on which to collaborate.

The cluster has grown organically since the Hagshaw Hill wind farm was commissioned in 1995. There are now five wind farms in the cluster, producing over 380 MW of clean energy, with new wind farms and extensions in the planning process.

A further four projects have been consented, with the potential to add 200MW to the cluster. Hagshaw Hill has been through the development process to repower and was granted consent in February 2020. This means that the cluster contains wind farms at every stage in their life cycle from operational, consented, proposed and soon to be repowered, making it the ideal location to pilot a new approach.

Two years on, the group are working together to produce a Development Framework for the cluster, with four key aims:

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Dalquhandy Wind Farm

Douglas West Windfarm

Sign at beginning of Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Walk, Middlemuir Road, Coalburn. Photo; 17th July 2022 David Halls.

Another project in progress is for a Dalquhandy Wind Farm on the former opencast site near Dalquhandy Farm on Cumberhead Road. The project was planned by Brockwell Energy and sold on to BayWa r.e. in 2020.

The wind power project consists of 15 turbines, each with 3MW capacity. The project started in March 2002 and is expected to be completed later in 2022.

The original plan with SP Energy Networks was for the construction of a 132kV wood pole overhead line to the Coalburn substation. Following concerns raised by Coalburn Community Council, Brockwell Energy in 2018, confirmed plans for an underground grid connection at the Dalquhandy Wind Energy Project. This followed a lengthy period of consultation with members of Coalburn Community Council and Councillor George Greenshields.

Commenting on the significant scale of the task ahead, Andrew Barber, project manager at BayWa r.e. UK said: "We anticipate that the construction of Dalquhandy Wind Farm will require around 250,000 m3 of earthworks, 6,000 m3 of concrete and 60,000 m of cabling. The turbines are due to be delivered mid-2022 and will involve transporting components up to 65 tonnes in weight and 67m long from their port of entry at King George V Docks in Glasgow."

The wind farm will maximise the use of existing tracks and avoid unnecessary disturbance of the restored site. Included with the development will be a number of habitat management activities that are designed to enhance the ecological value of the site as well as providing an asset for the people who regularly use the tracks for recreation.

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Page produced: 23 June 2022 DJH. Updated 21st July 2022 to include Dalquhandy Wind Farm