Dealing with Energy Issues
The need for more renewable energy sources is greater than ever. Rising power prices, fears over security of supply and climate change have put the issue of energy high in everyone’s mind. Maximising power output from existing and new wind energy sites will be key in tackling these issues. Existing wind farms are being repowered and new sites developed using improved technology and higher capacity turbine models. The candidate wind turbine models for Clashindarroch Wind Farm Extension would have a generating capacity of up to 6.6 megawatts (MW) each, more than three times the capacity of the turbines installed at the existing Clashindarroch Wind Farm. In combination with the 50MW energy storage array, the project as proposed would deliver up to 195.2MW of renewable energy generation and storage. The wind turbines would generate enough electricity to meet the annual demand of up to 108,055 average UK households every year, and replace the emissions of 174,956 tonnes of carbon, had the electricity otherwise been supplied by fossil fueled generators (source: RenewableUK).
Higher capacity wind turbines are taller in order to catch a greater wind resource and produce significantly more electricity. Around the world, turbines of 200m and higher are becoming commonplace. Turbine manufacturers are following this global market trend and removing the smaller turbine models (<150 m) from their production lines.
Wind energy developments provide job opportunities for Scottish businesses. Comprising up to 22 wind turbines and a 50MW battery energy storage facility, the investment for the Clashindarroch Wind Farm Extension project would be significant, creating a potential boost for the local economy.
Community Benefit Fund
Due to the relatively high installed capacity of the proposed wind turbines, the associated Community Benefit Fund would be considerable. The project is committed to delivering the Scottish Government’s recommended £5,000 per megawatt, which would accumulate to up to £726,000 per year for the life of the project. Over the anticipated 40-year lifespan, this could result in a total sum of just over £29m. Discussion with the local community will guide how the Community Benefit Fund may be allocated, in order to maximise local benefits.