The Heathland site is located approximately 1.5 km northeast of Forth in South Lanarkshire and 2.5 km south of Breich in West Lothian. It lies within an area of commercial forestry plantation which is owned and managed by Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS).
A Section 36 application for Heathland wind farm was submitted to the Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit on 16th February 2016, by Partnership for Renewables (PfR). EDF Renewables since acquired the rights to the Heathland development from PfR in 2017. The project was consented on 26th October 2018 by Scottish Ministers.
The consented Heathland scheme comprises 17 turbines of 132m to tip. The original site design was based on a candidate turbine with a rotor diameter of 104 m.
Since acquiring the project from PfR, EDF Renewables has been examining ways to increase the productivity of the wind farm and reduce the cost of power generated by the site. Turbine technology has improved greatly since 2016 and it is now possible to considerably increase production with larger turbines.
This enables the wind farm to produce more low carbon electricity, meeting the energy needs of more households and making a bigger contribution to reducing CO2 emissions as part of enhanced Government climate change targets.
In February, EDF Renewables presented a new proposal that would have increased the generating capacity of the wind farm from 54MW to around 84MW by reducing the number of turbines on the site to 14 and increasing the height up to 180m tip height.
Since then, the environmental surveys and assessments have continued on site, and responses from the public and statutory consultees have fed into the continued evolution of the layout.
As a result, we have now developed a new design for the site that comprises 14 turbines, which reduces the height of 3 turbines to 150m to blade tip height and retains 11 turbines at 180m tip height. In addition, changes have been made to the location of all 14 turbines to take into account site ground conditions, landscape and other environmental factors.
The proposed wind farm would have a generation capacity of up to 80MW, supplying enough low carbon electricity to meet the average annual needs of around 48,000 homes and offsetting around 83,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
It is anticipated that an application to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit (ECU) for permission to build the wind farm under Section 36 of the Electricity Act will be submitted in January 2021.
When the application is submitted, there will be a 28 day consultation period for consultees (including local residents) to make representations directly to the Scottish Government and/or the their local planning authority ahead of any decisions being taken.
The submission of the Section 36 application will be advertised in Public Notices in the local newspapers and copies of the planning application will be available for public viewing.
The Heathland Wind Farm development is on the national forests and land managed by Forestry Land Scotland (FLS) on behalf of Scottish Ministers. EDF Renewables and FLS are working together to ensure the best outcome for the development at Heathland forest.