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Scotland: Skylark application for 65MW Upper Sonachan Wind Park

Skylark Energy has submitted a planning application to the Scottish Government for Upper Sonachan Wind Park near Portsonachan in Argyll and Bute.

With a capacity of almost 65MW, the proposed wind park near Loch Awe could generate enough green energy each year to power the equivalent of more than 37,000 typical homes.

Skylark is a joint-venture between Britain’s leading green energy company Ecotricity and global construction firm Skanska, and now have three wind park projects in Scotland awaiting planning decisions.

Under Section 36 of the Electricity Act, planning applications for energy projects exceeding 50MW must be submitted to central Government for consideration, in this case the Scottish Government, who will evaluate detailed assessments of ecology and ornithology, aviation, landscape, archaeology, noise and cultural heritage, amongst numerous other factors. 

The Scottish Government will also take into account the views of local people and expert opinion of statutory consultees – such as Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the RSPB, Ofcom, the Ministry of Defence, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Local Planning Authority – before reaching a decision on the plans. 

Skylark General Manager, Ian Anderson, said: “Scotland shares our ambition to be self sustaining with green energy – targeting an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“Upper Sonachan Wind Park can make a significant contribution in replacing the use of fossil fuels, resulting in an important reduction in carbon emissions in line with the Scottish Ministers’ green energy objectives.

“After detailed site assessment and environmental studies, allied to ongoing dialogue with local residents, we are happy that we have a very strong proposal for a wind park that will successfully harness the local wind resource.”

Skylark carried out two public exhibitions Portsonachan and Kilchrenan village halls on the 3rd and 4th September 2015. About forty people attended and gave us their comments. The exhibitions demonstrated the changes that we have made to the design of the proposed site since the public consultation began in January 2015.

The main changes include a reduction in turbine numbers from 20 to 19, a reduction in tip height from a maximum of 145 metres to 136.5 metres, and the turbines have been moved away from the ridge overlooking Annat, Taychreggan and Ardbrecknish.

Local people who have any further queries about the application can contact Ecotricity’s planners at  upper-sonachan@ecotricity.co.uk.


Upper Sonachan Wind Park:

  • Location: Upper Sonachan Forest, between the B840 and A819
  • Number of turbines: 19
  • Rotor diameter: up to 104m
  • Hub height: up to 85m
  • Tip height: 125m - 136.5m
  • Capacity: up to 64.6MW
  • Green electricity per year: up to 152 million units (based on a 3.4MW machine and an average capacity factor for Scotland of 27%)
  • Homes powered: up to 37,130 (based on a 3.4MW machine and an average capacity factor for Scotland of 27%)
  • Tonnes of CO2 saved per annum: 60,200 (based on 394g of CO2 per kwh recommended by DUKES)

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