About Statkraft

    Who is Statkraft?

    Statkraft is Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, with origins going back 125 years in Norwegian hydro power. In the UK we operate and majority own a hydro power plant and four wind farms, and are actively developing four wind farm projects. We are a leading provider of power purchase agreements and have been appointed by National Grid to help them achieve their ambitions to deliver a zero carbon grid by 2025.  In 2020 we acquired an Electric Vehicle charging business and are growing our UK operations. 

    Our Scottish headquarters are in Glasgow, and we have 4000 employees across 16 countries.  

    Over the last 10 years, Statkraft has invested over £200 million in renewable energy infrastructure in Scotland. Over £1.6 million has been distributed to communities near their wind farms through local Community Benefit Funds in Scotland. 

    In August 2019, Statkraft completed an acquisition agreement with UK developer Airvolution, bringing the entire development team in-house to Statkraft.

    Read more at www.statkraft.co.uk


About Craig Watch

    Where is the site located?

    The site straddles Moray and Aberdeenshire Councils, approximately 8km southeast of Dufftown.

    Why did you choose this particular site?

    This site was chosen for wind development as it met numerous conditions considered during our feasibility process which includes looking at factors such as:

    • wind speed 
    • landscape and visual
    • ecology
    • heritage
    • aviation
    • distance to residential properties
    • access to grid connection and access for construction. 

    It is worth noting that our studies show less than 10% of the land in Scotland is suitable for wind energy development.

    How many turbines will there be?

    It is too early to say how many turbines the project would have, but our scoping report has been submitted on the basis that this site could host up to 16 wind turbines.

    How tall will the turbines be?

    It is too early to say the final height of turbines that will be in a planning application, but our scoping report has allowed for a maximum height of 200 metres to blade tip. 

    Before a planning application is submitted, we will hold a full consultation to show our project plan in detail and give further opportunity for feedback. 

    How does the height of these turbines compare to those nearby?

    Our proposed tips heights are similar in size to the proposed wind farms nearby of Garbet (180 and 200m), Clashindarroch II (180m) and Clashindarroch Extension (200m).

    Advances in turbine technology have resulted in significantly increased electricity output from taller turbines.

    What is the lifespan of the project?

    The project lifespan is likely to be approximately 33 years. After this time, the wind farm will be decommissioned, have its life extended or re-powered.  

Construction & Transport

    When will the wind farm be built?

    If consented, we expect construction to commence in 2024 with commercial operations started in 2025.

    What else is there apart from the turbines?

    Other ancillary infrastructure includes access tracks, substation, laydown areas, construction compound, site entrance and permanent met mast.

    Will the project include battery storage?

    Utilising energy storage at this site is current being assessed. Statkraft are at the forefront of battery and grid stability projects, which are increasingly vital as the amount of renewable energy generation in the UK increases.

    How will the wind farm connect to the national grid?

    We are assessing a number of options to facilitate a grid connection for Craig Watch, which is not yet determined. The connection can take the form of two options: an underground cable following the public highway and the second is overhead lines. Note that an overhead line would require a separate planning application to be submitted.    

Environmental Considerations

    Will there be any tree felling?

    In Scotland, a Government requirement to replant any felled trees came into force in 2009. Trees are carefully considered as part of the wind farm development process and this information is publicly available in planning application documents.  

    Where trees are proposed to be felled, replanting plans are agreed with the Local Planning Authority and are carefully designed to provide an overall improvement in biodiversity.

    Is this project a flood risk?

    There is no flood risk anticipated on this site. Studies are being completed and will be published in our planning application ready for assessment by statutory consultees.  

Consulting The Community

    How can I keep updated?

    The project is at design stage -  we talk to statutory consultees to gather their feedback, and continue studies and assessments that help shape the design of the final project set out in the application documents. 

    We held our first public engagement activity in March 2021, and where possible, will incorporate any feedback received into the designs.   We will host further engagement activity when we are able to share more information about our plans for the site. 

    We have contacted local Community Council and Ward Council representatives and will contact local householders directly to seek feedback on our consultation plans.

    The best way to ensure you are kept up to date with project news is to register on this site for updates.

March 2021 consultation FAQ's

    There are too many wind farms in this area.

    Moray Council’s Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Guidance (2020) indicates that the location of the proposed Craig Watch Wind Farm may be appropriate, with some scope to accommodate large scale turbine developments. As part of our work towards the planning application for the project, we have undertaken substantial analysis into the landscape and visual considerations in the vicinity of the development. 

    We continue to develop the project with the aim to find the right balance between maximising the electricity output and carefully siting and designing the proposal to relate to the existing landscape, including other wind developments. 

    Our analysis shows that less than 10% of land in Scotland is suitable for onshore wind farms. 

    To find out more about what makes a site suitable for onshore wind, you are invited to join a webinar hosted by Future Net Zero on 29 June where our Head of Development will go through the steps in new site searching. Check our website for details.

    Wind turbines should be offshore.

    e need a mix of all types of renewable energy generation. New-build onshore wind is presently the most cost-effective way to generate new electricity, out of all forms of electricity.

    I don’t like the look of onshore wind farms.

    We appreciate not all people like the look of wind turbines, but they are very much part of the answer to increasing our carbon-free electricity generation and decreasing the need for fossil fuels. The UK Government has surveyed attitudes towards different types of electricity generation since 2012 and the results consistently show around 75% support for onshore wind (BEIS Attitudes Tracker). 

    If there is concern about a specific view please let us know and we’ll try to provide suitable illustrations at our next consultation event later this year.

    Wind turbines are bad for the environment [construction, peat disturbance, use more carbon than they save].

    All wind farm applications are required to report their “carbon payback period” in the Environmental Impact Assessment. This is determined using a Scottish Government calculator which takes into account all emissions from the manufacture of the turbines, including any peat disturbance, as well as the construction and decommissioning phases. This figure is usually in the range of 1-2 years, and part of the work we do during the development phase is to get that number as low as possible. 

    We were finalists in two prestigious industry awards for our efforts at Berry Burn Extension in Moray in maximising habitat improvements to deliver a biodiversity gain. For example, rewetting peat and reducing the impact of future wild fires.  

    What is the benefit to locals?

    There are several ways our projects can bring local benefits, and we are always open to discussing how this can be tailored to each area. The construction phase provides a significant opportunity for local businesses to get involved - we had over 80 businesses complete our local suppliers register for the construction of our Keith Greener Grid project. 

    The operation of a wind farm brings significant local investment. Statkraft commit to delivering a community benefit fund with all new wind farms at £5,000 per MW installed per year, as per Scottish Government guidance. 

    The exact amount will depend on the number and type of turbines installed, but as a guide, this is around £25,000 per turbine per year over the operating period of the wind farm.

    What is the transport route for the turbines? Are the roads suitable for this construction and ongoing access?

    We are confident a suitable access route can be proposed and this is part of our detailed planning work. A Traffic Management Plan will be agreed with Moray and Aberdeenshire councils prior to construction commencing.