Windfarms near Coalburn Part 1

The history of Coalburn is closely aligned with energy production. The village grew as deep mining for coal grew in the 19th century. As mines became exhausted or not profitable, its population declined but then open cast mining was becoming important with the opening of the Dalquhandy opencast mine in 1988. When British Coal went into receivership in 1997, mining ceased and Coalburn was left with a scarred landscape. Most of the holes have been filled in but the landscape still will take time to recover. The advent of windfarms has enabled this area and the hills between Coalburn and Douglas to be used for energy production.

Windfarm from common hill

Trig pillar and wind turbines on Common Hill. Part of Hagshaw Hill Windfarm. cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Alan O'Dowd -

This article deals with the older windfarms in the area.

Hagshaw Hill Windfarm

Hagshaw Hill Windfarm

Hagshaw Hill Windfarm is seen at the top of the hills in the distance. Photo; 23rd September 2014 David Halls. Taken from the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Walk on the former Coalburn Opencast Mining area

Hagshaw Hill was Scotland's first commercial wind farm, constructed in 1995.The wind farm comprised 26 x 600KW wind turbines which are 55 metres in height, with a total generation capacity of 15.6 MW. An extension to Hagshaw Hill was consented in December 2006 and construction on 20 new turbines was completed in 2008, increasing the power output to 42 MW. The site is currently operated by Scottish Power Renewables under lease from William Mitchell and Sons Ltd.

The turbines in this windfarm are near the end of their life. The repowering of Hagshaw Hill Windfarm will be covered in Part 2 of this series.

The roof repair to Coalburn Miners' Welfare and CMW Bowling Club was undetaken with a grant of £13,000 from the Hagshaw Hill Windfarm Trust.

Sources of Information

Nutberry Windfarm

Nutberry Windfarm

Nutberry Windfarm. Photo; 23rd September 2014 David Halls. Taken from the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Walk on the former Coalburn Opencast Mining area

It consists of 6 x 2.5MW Nordex N90HS Wind Turbines and are up to 125 m high from the base to the highest point of the blade. Construction work commenced in 2012 and commercial operations started in September 2013.

The project is financed by the Spirit of Lanarkshire Wind Energy Co-operative and run by Falck Renewables.

Access to the windfarm is at the end of Station Road, Douglas West through the same gate as Hagshaw Hill Farm

Nutberry Windfarm

Entrance to the Nutberry Wind Farm.
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Gordon Brown -

Nutberry Windfarm

Nutberry Wind Farm as seen from the end of Cumberhead Road.
Photo Geoff Brown 21st March 2022.

Sources of Information

Galawhistle Windfarm

This windfarm is on the hills between Coalburn and the A70 and is west of the Hagshaw Hill and Nutberry Windfarms. Access is from a specially constructed road off the A70 between Glespin and Glenbuck.

Ventient Energy run the windfarm with 22 Vestas V90 3MW turbines. 18 are positioned on land that is owned by Ventient Energy while the remaining four are distributed between two other landowners. Planning consent for Galawhistle Wind Farm was received in August 2012 and was then varied in 2015 to allow for use of 45 metre blades, giving overall capacity at the site of 66MW.

Construction started on the site in March 2015 and it opened in March 2017. Its 22 turbines are rated at 3MW and can generate enough energy to power 40,802 homes. Power transmission is by underground cable to Coalburn Substation just off the B7078.

Coalburn Substation

Coalburn Substation. Photo; 12th June 2022 David Halls.

Local organisations, including the Coalburn Miners Welfare Charitable Society and the Coalburn IOR Pipe Band, have benefited from grants from the Ventient Energy Galawhistle Community fund which is managed by Foundation Scotland. The Fund was opened in 2017 and an annual contribution of £120,000, rising in line with inflation, will be paid into the Fund for the operating life of the wind farm.

Sources of Information

Page produced: 23 June 2022 DJH.