6 June 2002 – Scottish Power’s plans for a 35-turbine windfarm at Cruach Mhor were granted planning permission today by Argyll & Bute Council. The à‚£20m ($29m) medium sized windfarm will produce 29 MW of clean, renewable energy – enough to power 17 000 homes.
Consent was granted pending the conclusion of environmental and community plans currently being finalised by ScottishPower.
Local companies are now being invited to tender for up to à‚£3m in contracts associated with the project, which will create around 100 construction jobs.
The decision comes after a full public consultation process with the local community and over 40 organisations. Cruach Mhor has been subject to a detailed visual assessment during the planning process and experts are now confident it will be out of view from almost all of the surrounding settlements and roads, largely due to the surrounding landscape and forestry.
Following a short tendering process construction activity will begin. Materials will be worked on-site to minimise the impact locally and construction traffic will be routed via the A886 from the north. Works are likely to last 12 months with the windfarm becoming operational late in 2003 creating three full time jobs.
Alan Mortimer, Scottish Power’s Head of Wind Development, said: “The need to reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases is driving a major programme of investment in new renewable energy projects. Cruach Mhor windfarm is an important element of this programme, and an excellent example of utilising Scotland’s abundant wind resource for environmental benefit. Much more needs to be done, but with further projects totalling over 450 MW already in the planning process (more than twice as much as any other UK utility), ScottishPower ought to be well positioned to meet the required reductions in emissions over the coming years.”
The site at Cruach Mhor was selected following a Scotland wide search for potential locations. Through a process of elimination Cruach Mhor was chosen as the site with the greatest potential in Cowal due to the limited area over which it will be seen, combined with ready access to the electricity grid nearby.