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.

Sources of Information

Cumberhead Wind Farm

Cumberhead Wind Farm is in Coalburn Forest Complex, a privately-owned sizeable area of plantation forest located to the west of Cumberhead in South Lanarkshire.

The purpose of the 50MW Cumberhead Wind Farm is to give the owner a substantial and sustainable integrated income from renewables and timber for decades to come. It will consist of 12 Nordex N133 turbines and have an initial expected operating life of 25 years.

In September 2021, Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust plc (LON:ORIT) acquired the rights to build the 50-MW Cumberhead wind farm in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

In March 2022, the company reported that construction had started with the wind farm expecting to be fully operational towards the end of 2022.

It also announced that it had entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) over the electricity to be generated at the Cumberhead Project with Kimberly Clark Limited, the UK parent company of leading household brands including Andrex, Kleenex and Huggies. Once operational, the Cumberhead Project is expected to provide nearly 80% of the electricity needed to manufacture Kimberley Clark's products in the UK. The new Cumberhead Wind Farm will generate approximately 160,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy annually for Kimberly-Clark to manufacture many personal care products for the UK market.

SP Energy Networks (SPEN) recently successfully completed the construction of Cumberhead Collector Substation in the third quarter of 2022 - this allows Cumberhead and Dalquhandy wind farms to connect into the Transmission Network.

The new collector substation ties into the already installed Galawhistle Windfarm cable which passes nearby as it travels back to the existing Coalburn Grid Substation.

Sources of Information

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.

Sources of Information

Hagshaw Hill Wind Farm Repowering

Hagshaw Hill Windfarm Repowering

Extension to Hagshaw Hill wind farm under construction. Photo: 29 July, 2021 by Alan O'Dowd
cc-by-sa/2.0 - ©Alan O'Dowd -

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 constructed the 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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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.

In March 2002, Baywa r.e. announced it had secured a virtual power purchase agreement (PPA) that will see BT(British Telecom) buy electricity and related Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) from Dalquhandy wind park. The fixed-price deal will be in force for 10 years and is tied to 80% of the plant's generation.

On Feb 4 2023, the on-shore wind turbine installation team of EIRTECK announced that they had completed the electrical installation of 10 Vestas turbines at Dalquhandy with a generating capacity of up to 42MW.

On April 3rd 2023, BayWa r.e. announced the sale of Dalquhandy wind farm to Greencoat UK Wind PLC, a leading renewable infrastructure fund managed by Schroders Greencoat LLP.

On 15th May 2023, Dalquhandy Wind Farm was officially opened by South Lanarkshire Provost Margaret Cooper. It generates £210,000 of community benefit per year, increasing with inflation. This fund is shared between the local communities of Coalburn and Douglas directly and the South Lanarkshire Council Renewable Energy Fund. Throughout the 25-year lifetime of the project this will amount to £5.25million.

Sources of Information

Page produced: 23 June 2022 DJH. Updated 21st July 2022 to include Dalquhandy Wind Farm. Again updated 10th September 2022 to include photo of construction of a Wind Turbine at Hagshaw Hill. Addition of description of Cumberhead Wind Farm completed on 21st September 2022. Section on Dalquhandy Wind Farm updated 13th March 2023 and again on 14th April and 18th May 2023.