As our planning application for the wind farm sits with the Scottish Government for review, we take this important time to reach out to local suppliers and communities to find meaningful ways to bring benefits to the local area. Should our planning application be accepted, we will need a variety of businesses to supply fuel, building materials, fencing and accommodation to name a few.
In order to do this we have set up a Local Supplier Registration page where local businesses can register their interest to work on the project. We have been working closely with the Moray Chamber of Commerce to promote our Local Supplier Register and we are pleased to report that a good number of Moray companies, ranging from one-person businesses to larger employers, have registered. It means we can source local skills and products for our wind farm and other renewable energy projects in the area.
Mícheál Ó Broin, Senior Project Manager said: “The Local Supplier Register is very important to us, not only to ensure that our funds are spend locally but to have companies close by when we need new kit and equipment is time saving on the project meaning we can complete the project faster. I urge all local businesses to register on our supplier database, whether you are a one-person company, a small to medium enterprise or larger".
A success story from another project is Blargoans Limited who have worked with us on Baillie Wind Farm since its construction in 2011. Blargoans supply the wind farm with equipment and consumables so anything from portacabins to welfare units, to hand tools, power tools, portable toilets, computers, ink, and PPE. You can read about their working with us here.
Gordon Sproat, a site manager at one of our Moray projects, said: “The Local Supplier Register is extremely useful. It is my first port of call for any services we require. Approximately 75% of our supplier business to date has come from companies on that register.”
If the project is approved, the project will enter the pre-construction phase planning conditions are signed off by the local authority and procurement of the turbines and other contracts takes place. It is during this phase that the details of the community benefit fund is discussed with the community.
We hope that using local suppliers and shaping the community fund will bring lasting benefits to the local area.
If you have not registered as a supplier for the Berry Burn Extension project, you still have time. See our Suppliers Registration page for further information.
One of the most common questions we are asked when developing our projects is 'Why here?".
Statkraft's Head of Business and Project Development will help answer this question at a webinar on Tuesday, 29 June at 10am.
During the webinar Richard Mardon will take us behind the scenes of the development process, with a step by step guide on the challenges faced in finding the best sites to maximise Scotland's excellent natural wind resource. There will also be the opportunity to ask questions.
Register, and find out more by clicking here.
The event is being recorded and the link will be available shortly afterwards.
The Moray Council planning committee met in March 2021 and considered our application.
The combined output of the proposed Berry Burn Wind Farm Extension and the operational Berry Burn Wind Farm is greater than 50MW. This means the proposed extension is considered to be a Section 36 application, not a planning application. This in turn requires that Scottish Ministers make the final decision on whether to grant consent to the extension or not. Moray Council is a consultee but not the final decision maker.
However, the planning committee voted not to object to the proposal and now that decision on behalf of the Moray Council planning authority will be considered alongside other consultee responses, including those from bodies such as SEPA and NatureScot, before a final decision is made by Scottish Ministers.
In response to a request from Moray Council we provided an additional wireframe (an outline of turbine visibility from a particular location) from the Cottage Road, near Knockanrioch, see the links below to view this information elsewhere on our website:
This information was provided to the Moray Council Planning Department ahead of the Planning Committee meeting in March 2021 to aid their consideration of the application. As this information was not provided in the original Section 36 application it is necessary to advertise this new information and allow members of the public and other stakeholders to comment upon the new information provided.
The advertisements are due to be published:
- On the project website – www.berryburn-extension.co.uk
- Edinburgh Gazette – one advert required (30th April)
- Forres Gazette – one advert required (28th April)
- Northern Scot – one advert required (30th April)
These advertisements do not mean that the plans have changed since the submission of the application. The proposal is still for 9 wind turbines up to 149.9m in height.
On 23 March the Moray Council Planning and Regulatory Services Committee voted to Not Object to our proposed extension. We thank the Officers and Councillors for giving the application due consideration, and are pleased with their decision. We await the decision of Scottish Government who will be deciding whether the project can go ahead, hopefully later this year.
We are excited about the potential of the project to not only generate significant amounts of clean energy, but also the proposed measures to enable a significant biodiversity gain.
Scottish Government statistics were published last week showing that renewables met nearly 100% of Scotland’s electricity demand in 2020. This is great news - but there is still a long way to go, as only a quarter of Scottish energy consumption presently comes from renewables.
More renewable projects are required to help decarbonise our heating and transport systems, and we hope that the Berry Burn Extension can play a part in delivering that.
Our latest project update has just been published, and provides a summary of the feedback to date on the project application, as well as highlighting some of the latest projects to receive support from the Berry Burn Community Fund.
If you have any questions about the operational wind farm, or the proposed extension, please contact us.
Read the newsletter
Our approach to the proposed extension to Berry Burn Wind Farm has been selected as a finalist in the Highlands and Islands Renewable Energy Awards.
The devastating wildfire of April 2019 required a new approach to restore and enhance the biodiversity of the site, and we're proud of what has been achieved both in terms of the project design and how we shared our plans with the community. You can read more about the wildfires in our July 2020 newsletter.
The awards are part of the annual Highlands Renewable Energy Conference, taking place on 25 February. Find out more about the event and the awards at www.hnmedia.co.uk/renewable-energy-day
Wildfires which devastated much of the Moray countryside in the north of Scotland last year have led to increased environmental benefits being proposed by Europe’s largest renewable energy producer.
Work on Statkraft’s proposed extension to the Berry Burn Wind Farm, near Forres, has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Project Award, at the Scottish Renewables ‘Green Energy Awards’. In April 2019, a catastrophic wildfire spread throughout the site causing damage to precious habitats and threatening the project all together. The fire burnt for over a week and it took some time to ensure that peat fires were extinguished, and safe access could be allowed.
Unfortunately, the habitats and vegetation across a large area - including the entire proposed extension area – were utterly devastated.
Experts from ecological consultancy Avian Ecology worked tirelessly to ensure the project could continue by working with NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) and the local community to find ways to restore and then enhance the biodiversity of the site.
Avian Ecology mapped out an engagement approach, with a high emphasis on early and on-going consultation with NatureScot to deliver an innovative habitat management plan that would bring a biodiversity net gain to the fire-damaged area, helping to turn around the catastrophe. In addition, they proposed measures to prevent the spreading of future wildfires, reducing the chance of such extensive damage reoccurring. The plan was carefully designed so as to provide improved peatland habitats for wildlife and carbon storage, providing clear benefits over and above those already in place for the operational Berry Burn Wind Farm.
That work has now been recognised for its quality with the shortlisting for the prestigious Green Energy Awards.
Mícheál Ó Broin, Senior Development Manager at Statkraft said: “Avian Ecology has exceeded our expectations. Their innovative ideas to minimise impacts to the natural environment is paramount in this industry as we work towards our ambitious net-zero target. We are delighted that this project partnership is getting the recognition it deserves.”
Howard Fearn, Director at Avian Ecology Limited said: “The devastating wildfire of April 2019 significantly impeded our normal process to survey and assess ecological impacts of the proposed extension. An entirely new approach was required, and we recognised this as an opportunity to increase the environmental benefits the project could deliver. It required innovative thinking and a close-working relationship with NatureScot. The wind farm extension would enable a significant biodiversity gain through improving peat habitats, accelerating recovery from fire damage and reducing damage from future wildfires.”
Due to Covid-19, this year’s Awards event will be held online on Thursday 26 November.
Our latest newsletter has been distributed to over 480 homes in the area. It confirms submission of our plans for a proposed extension of Berry Burn WInd Farm.
We would like to thank the numerous people who have generously given of their time in order to give us their feedback and guidance. Our proposal is better because of these contributions. The input of community councils, stakeholders, elected representatives and businesses has been generous and very welcome.
Download the Newsletter
If you have any queries, please contact us.
We are pleased to announce that our application for a 9 turbine extension has been submitted to Scottish Government.
All planning application documents are available to view in the planning documents folder. We appreciate that there is a lot of information contained inside the documents, and encourage you to contact us if you would like information on a specific aspect of the project.
Mícheál Ó Broin, Senior Project Manager for Statkraft said: “We have completed all of the necessary surveys and planning work, as well as a community engagement plan which first started in December 2018. We have been fortunate to have received thoughtful, considered feedback and guidance from the community and many other stakeholders. As a result, our plan has evolved, and we believe it is even stronger than it was at the outset.”
“This project is a great example of the rapid advances in turbine technology. In 2014 we installed a 29 turbine wind farm, generating electricity for approximately 48,000 homes. Within a short space of time we are looking at a 9 turbine project which will provide for over 35,500 homes. Furthermore, because of this increased capacity, the extension would deliver roughly the same amount of community funding as the 29 turbines.” Mícheál added.
A wind farm of under 50 megawatts (MW) would normally be decided by Moray Council, however wind farm extensions are viewed in totality with the operational project (67MW), which means the application is made directly to Ministers of the Scottish Government.
About Berry Burn Wind Farm Extension
- Energy Consents Unit Reference: ECU00000718
- 9 turbines
- 149.9 metres to blade tip
- 37.8MW installed capacity
- Generating 139.1 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per year
- Equivalent to the average annual electricity demand of around 35,575 typical homes*
*based on 2018 Scotland average consumption of 3,910 kWh pa
As our business grows in Moray, we are pleased to be a member of the Moray Chamber of Commerce, who provide a range of valuable services tailored to Moray businesses. We look forward to exploring opportunities for potential collaboration with fellow members on supplying our projects in the region - the operating Berry Burn Wind Farm and proposed extension, as well as our first ever Greener Grid Park to start construction in Keith this year.
Any local suppliers who wish to work with us are encouraged to register on the Local Suppliers tab of the website.