As of 2020, onshore wind is the biggest single technology in Scotland and is the country’s main source of renewable power, accounting for 70 per cent of installed capacity and generating around two thirds of all renewable electricity output in Scotland. With growing capacity of wind farms in Scotland, there has been a significant increase in renewable electricity output, which has more than tripled from 8,003 GWh in 2007 to 30,521 GWh in 2019.  Renewable electricity is now equivalent to approximately 90 % of Scotland’s electricity consumption.

Wind power is a clean, renewable source of energy which produces no greenhouse gas emissions when generating electricity meaning it is one of the best tools in combatting climate change. As the proportion of renewable electricity in Scotland grows it gradually displaces the need to generate electricity from polluting fossil fuels, reducing total carbon emissions.

It is estimated that in 2019, renewable electricity generation in Scotland displaced over 13.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide[1].  This is the equivalent to over 30 % of Scotland’s total carbon emissions[2].

While the pandemic has led to a temporary dip in greenhouse gas emissions, there is still requirement for fundamental changes in the way we live our lives in order to achieve net zero.

[1] Renewable Energy Facts & Statistics. Available at: https://www.scottishrenewables.com/our-industry/statistics (Accessed 28/01/2020)

[2] Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2018. Available at: https://www.gov.scot/news/scottish-greenhouse-gas-emissions-2018/ (Accessed 28/01/2020) Most up to date total emissions total for Scotland available online.

  • More energy can be harnessed through taller more efficient wind turbines, meaning fewer structures are needed in the landscape;
  • Reduces levelised cost of energy – greater efficiency; and
  • Grayside Wind Farm would contribute to important renewables targets.

It is anticipated that the port of entry will be from Port of Glasgow given its previous use for the transportation of wind turbine components.  The route is predicted to follow the M74 for majority of the journey and onto the A702 with entrance to the Site located approximately 1.4 km south west of Coulter.

A traffic and transport assessment will be provided within the EIA Report along with an Abnormal Loads Route Assessment to ensure the proposed access route accommodates the deliveries for the Development.

The grid connection application has not yet been lodged for the project, and the grid connection point and installation will be the responsibility of the distribution network operator. From early-stage discussions with the grid operator, it is likely that the connection will be a new substation 7 or 8 km west of the site, on the western side of the M74. The development is not expected not connect to existing substations.

Construction timescales will be based on a yet-to-be-confirmed grid connection date. It is anticipated that construction will commence 2027 / 2028 and will last for a period of approximately 15-18 months.

We know from the existing wind farms in the area that the site has optimal wind resource. At present, there are no plans for a mast to be erected however we are installing a LiDAR device over the coming weeks, to measure wind speeds for the purpose of assessments within the upcoming EIA Report.

There are a number of reasons as to why some constructed turbines do not turn, even in the windiest of conditions. This is mainly due to maintenance, grid operators request to shut down, or faults / wear and tear. Turbines are also programmed to shut down if there are extremely high wind speeds.

The project is still in its early stages, and the site access point is not finalised. At this stage, it is anticipated that the port of entry for turbines will be from Port of Glasgow given its previous use for the transportation of wind turbine components. The route is predicted to follow the M74 for majority of the journey and onto the A702 with entrance to the Site potentially located approximately 1.4 km south west of Coulter. Alternative access options are being explored and should the access point change then the designs will be updated accordingly.

A traffic and transport assessment will be provided within the EIA Report along with an Abnormal Loads Route Assessment to ensure the proposed access route accommodates the deliveries for the Development.

Baseline hydrology analysis has fed into the design to date, and detailed assessment will be undertaken as part of the upcoming EIA. Design measures will be integrated to the wind farm to ensure runoff is appropriately managed across the site. This is a requirement of SEPA, a statutory consultee who we have consulted as part of the scoping process.

There are stringent guidelines on wind turbines and noise emissions to ensure the protection of residential amenity. Grayside Wind Farm will be designed to ensure noise impacts are reduced as far as reasonably practical, in agreement with South Lanarkshire Council. A background noise survey which will be undertaken at nearby properties to assess the existing noise environment. This will inform a Noise Impact Assessment that will be submitted with the planning application. Figures showing the predicted noise propagation in the area will also be included in the EIA Report.

A shadow flicker assessment will be undertaken once a final turbine layout has been agreed. This will access properties closest to the development, in line with national and local guidance. This assessment will be included in the EIA Report. Figures showing the predicted shadow flicker casting in the area will also be included.

As part of this Public Consultation Event, wirelines have been presented showing what Grayside Wind Farm will look like from four representative viewpoints in the area. The project Landscape Architect can produce requested wirelines to show what the scheme may look like from your property. The layout is subject to change but provides an early stage indication. A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment is currently underway and will be presented in the EIA Report to be submitted with the application.

Yes, cumulative wind farms sites, either planned or existing, will be considered in the EIA Report. The Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment will consider cumulative sites at a radius of 45 km from the nearest turbine. Other technical assessments, such as noise and shadow flicker, will also consider cumulative impacts.

Aviation lighting will be required on some of the propose turbines at Grayside Wind Farm. Aviation lighting typically comprises a steady red light mounted on a turbine. It is not known at this time which turbines will require aviation lighting; however, this will be confirmed as we enter further consultation with key consultees and the layout is finalised. Once a final layout is confirmed, a night time lighting assessment will be undertaken to represent the effects on key visual receptors, as part of the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment.

As shown on the Site Location figure, there are areas within the ownership of the landowner, where there are no turbines proposed. This is mainly due to environmental and ground constraints on site that do not allow turbines to the northern area. It is important to note the layout at this stage is not fixed, and turbine numbers and locations may change pending the outcome of all environmental surveys.

The planning application being submitted for Grayside Wind Farm is being progressed by the landowners and on land within their control. There is no adjacent land under their control which would allow an extension to be undertaken and, as stated above, the current layout has been informed by environmental and ground constraints. The current layout is for up to 27 turbines however, it is expected this number will be reduced to potentially 25 before the application is submitted. Where wind farms which have been consented and then varied to increase the approved heights; this is due to the change in wind farm subsidies making smaller scale heights unviable. This project has been designed with the knowledge that there are no subsidies available for onshore wind and so there is no reason for a tip height increase to be progressed in future.

The landowners have made a written commitment that the scheme will not be extended in the future:

“As discussed during the public exhibitions (on zoom on the 17th and 18th of February) the landowers at Grayside have no plans to extend the proposed windfarm. The Grayside proposal currently being discussed is not Phase 1 of a wider development on their land. 

The Scoping Layout had 27 turbines of up to 200m tip height. Two were dropped just before the public exhibitions (though the exhibitions still had the 27 turbine layout). The largest turbine which fits within this envelope is the Enercon E-126 which has a capacity of up to 7.58MW. If 25 of these were installed, the capacity at the site would be 189.5MW. 

The landowners undertake that the Grayside development will have an installed capacity not greater than 189.5MW.”

Yes, it has been confirmed that peat is present on site. We have undertaken our first phase of peat probing which has helped evolve our initial layout of the scheme. Area of peat on site, are typically < 0.5 m deep, with very few areas across the site greater than this. Further peat probing will be undertaken in Spring this year. The avoidance of peat in the layout design is key to ensure minimal impact on the local environment. Geology and Soils will be discussed in the EIA Report.

At this time is it not known what the carbon payback period will be for Grayside Wind Farm due a number of influencing factors specific to the site. A Carbon Balance calculation will be undertaken and submitted as part of the EIA report, confirming the predicted payback time for Grayside Wind Farm.

The layout is currently being designed to minimise effects on heritage assets in the local area. The work is being undertaken in consultation with Historic Environment Scotland and West of Scotland Archaeology Service. A cultural heritage and archaeological assessment will be included in the EIA Report and will consider the setting, integrity and character of each identified asset.

Grayside Wind Farm is at the early stages of development, therefore the recreational benefits which could be incorporated into the scheme have not yet been considered.

We understand local residents are encouraging of Grayside Wind Farm being used as a recreation area as leisure activities such as hiking, walking and cycling being encouraged on the wind farm would be welcomed by the community. We welcome further suggestions on this and will review these as part of the final design in discussions with the landowner

It is envisaged that battery storage will be incorporated into the Grayside Wind Farm development. As the project is still in its early stages, exact details of this storage technology have yet to be finalised.

As present, it is not known where the substation will be located. The location of this, in relation to the wind development, will be considered once a final turbine layout has been agreed.

The red line boundary, is for planning purposes only. There will be no fencing around this boundary and will therefore not inhibit the local community from accessing the development. Although recreational benefits as part of the scheme have not yet been considered, Grayside Wind Farm will be accessible to the public in some form.

The Council will respond to the application and consider the merits of the application in accordance with its planning policies and any material consideration. If constructed, the wind farm would pay business rates in line with any other business in South Lanarkshire. At this stage, the rates are unknown but the Applicant is investigating these and will provide an update once known.

Our consultation exercise including forms of notification were agreed with the Scottish Government and South Lanarkshire Council. For future consultation, we will also engage with the host and surrounding community councils to agree the best approach for notifying about project updates.