ASH coordinated the environmental impact assessment and ES for the planned extension to Gordonbush Wind Farm
ASH was commissioned by SSE Renewables in 2013 to undertake and co-ordinate an Environmental Impact Assessment, including the production of an Environmental Statement for submission with a Section 36 application to the Scottish Government for an extension to Gordonbush Wind Farm.
Screening and Scoping
Coordination and preparation of environmental statement
What we did
Gordonbush Wind Farm is located on Gordonbush Estate, approximately 9.5km to the north-west of Brora, Sutherland. The wind farm became operational in June 2012 and comprises a total of 35 turbines at a tip height of 110m.
The proposed extension would comprise a further 16 turbines, 13 of which would have a maximum tip height of 130m, whilst the remaining 3 turbines would have a maximum tip height of 115m. The installed capacity of the extension would be up to 56MW, taking the combined total of Gordonbush to 51 turbines with a maximum generation capacity of 126MW.
The final design of the proposed extension has utilised existing infrastructure from the operational Gordonbush Wind Farm where possible to minimise potential environmental effects. This includes the use of the existing grid substation for the grid connection; existing access tracks and two of the original borrow pits. The final layout has also sought to achieve a high level of integration with the operational Gordonbush Wind Farm, and this has been fundamental to the avoidance and reduction of effects on the landscape and visual resource.
Following submission of a scoping report in September 2013, and through subsequent consultation with both statutory and non-statutory consultees, a number of environmental topics were identified as requiring further survey and assessment as part of the Environmental Statement. ASH were responsible for co-ordinating the inputs of specialist consultants under the topics of Landscape and Visual, Cultural Heritage, Ecology, Ornithology, Hydrology, Hydrogeology and Geology, Traffic, Noise, Planning, Socio-Economics and Tourism.
The Environmental Statement and Section 36 application were submitted to Scottish Ministers in June 2015.
A decision from the Scottish Ministers is currently awaited.
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