Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Statkraft?
Statkraft is Europe's largest generator of renewable energy, and operate and majority own three wind farms in Scotland.
Our Scottish headquarters is in Glasgow and we have 4000 employees across 17 countries. In August 2019, Statkraft completed an acquisition agreement with UK developer Airvolution Clean Energy, bringing the entire development team in-house.
Read more at www.statkraft.co.uk
About Loch Liath
Where is the site located?
The closest proposed turbine is located approximately 11km southwest of Drumnadrochit in the Scottish Highlands.
Why put a wind farm here?
Did you know that less than 10% of the land area in Scotland is suitable for wind farm development? We need to maximise those sites to boost renewable energy generation and contribute to Scotland’s net-zero commitments. Onshore wind contributed to the UK’s 2020 electricity generation as energy produced by renewables made up 42% of the UK’s electricity last year compared with 41% generated from gas and coal plants together.
Onshore wind is part of a wider mix of energy generation with National Grid ESO using the most cost-effective mix of generation to balance supply and demand to make sure electricity is always there when people need it.
The proposed Loch Liath Wind Farm is located within an area of good wind speeds. In addition, no national or internationally designated sites are located within the Developable Area. The design of the proposed scheme will be well integrated with the adjoining Bhlaraidh Wind Farm. Therefore, we believe this is an excellent site to contribute to Scotland’s ambitions of reaching net zero emissions by 2045.
How many turbines will there be?
Our initial studies showed the potential for 26 turbines, up to 200m to blade tip. The design of the wind farm will evolve throughout the development process. We encourage you to register for updates on the main project page to kept informed of project progression.
How tall will the turbines be?
We are proposing turbines with a maximum height of 200 meters to blade tip.
Before a planning application is submitted, we will hold a full consultation to show the final project plan in detail and give further opportunity for feedback.
To keep up to date throughout the project's development, please Register for Updates.
What else makes up the application, apart from the turbines?
Other infrastructure that will be included in the final proposal includes access tracks, substation, laydown areas, construction compound, site entrance and permanent met mast.
How will you assess any impacts on birds and wildlife?
Extensive surveys are ongoing and, include detailed habitat surveys, birds, protected mammals and peat.
Survey results will be used to inform the ongoing wind farm design process to avoid or reduce potential impacts on sensitive ecological features. We consulted with NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) at an early stage in the surveying period to determine the required surveys.
Further detail on surveys will be available as the project progresses.
How will you assess any noise impacts of the development?
A noise assessment is currently being undertaken in line with Government guidance. A noise assessment will be undertaken which will consider the potential effectors on nearby residential properties associated with both the construction and operation of the wind farm.
The assessment of effects of construction noise will include consideration of noise from construction traffic on site access routes where residential properties may be affected.
Will there be any impact on peat?
There is potential for the development to result in some impacts on carbon rich soils, including peat. We are currently undertaking peat probing to understand the extent of peat pockets on site. These surveys will inform the design and the final location of wind turbines.
In addition, a detailed peat management plan will outline methods to minimise and/or mitigate impacts on carbon rich soils.
Will any tree felling be required?
Trees are carefully considered as part of the wind farm development process and this information will be publicly available in our planning application documents.
In Scotland, a Government requirement to replant any felled trees came into force in 2009. Where trees are proposed to be felled, replanting plans are carefully designed to provide an overall improvement in biodiversity.
Construction & Transport
When will it be built?
If consented, commercial operations are expected in 2026/2027, with construction commencing in 2024/2025.
How long will the wind farm operate for?
The project duration is likely to be approximately 35 years. After this time, the wind farm will be decommissioned, or an application submitted to have its life extended or re-powered.
How will the wind farm connect to the Grid?
We are currently assessing a number of options. Connection can take the form of two options: an underground cable or overhead lines. If we were to pursue an overhead line, it would require a separate planning application to be submitted.
What's the transport route during construction?
There are two possible Ports of Entry (PoE) for the delivery of the turbine components currently under consideration. If abnormal loads originate from the west coast, the port of Kyle of Lochalsh will be used for the delivery of all blades, whilst Inverness would be used for all other loads. You can see the possible routes here.
The impacts of the chosen route will be assessed in the EIA Report and available for comment once the application has been submitted to the relevant authority. However, as part of any consent, we would look to implement a Traffic Management Plan and work with the community and relevant authorities to ensure as minimal disruption as possible.
How much traffic will be associated with the wind farm?
Each turbine is likely to require between 12 and 14 'abnormal loads' to deliver the components to the site. The components will likely be delivered on extendable trailers which will then be retracted to the size of a standard HGV for the return journey. Detailed swept path analysis will be undertaken for on the route from the port of entry to the site access junction to demonstrate that the turbine components can be delivered to site and to identify any temporary road works which may be necessary.
Once operational, the level of traffic associated with the wind farm will be greatly reduced and will be minimal. Regular monthly or weekly visits would be made for maintenance checks, most likely in 4x4 vehicles. There may also be the occasional need for an HGV to access the wind farm for specific maintenance and/or repairs. Given that the numbers of vehicles accessing the site during operation are so low, a detailed assessment of this phase will not be undertaken as part of the EIA, as is standard practice for developments of this nature.
Is there a Traffic Management Plan?
This would be part of the planning application.
Local Benefits & Investment
How can your wind farms bring improved broadband?
We are often asked by local communities if we can help to deliver faster broadband, or even help get them connected in the first place.
We need high quality broadband to operate our wind farms, and we have committed to explore whether as part of our project, we can facilitate infrastructure to help benefit the community as well.
We are the only developer to commit to funding a feasibility study at an early stage of our projects to investigate the potential for fibre and wireless line of sight broadband. If you'd like to find out more please contact us.
Will there be a community fund?
Yes. Even with our subsidy-free wind farms, we commit to a community benefit fund based on the Scottish Government recommended amount of £5,000 per MW installed.
In addition to the traditional community benefit fund, if there is interest from within the community we are keen to bring forward opportunities for shared ownership for this proposal too.
We are also keen to look for other ways our projects can bring meaningful benefits to the community such as the potential for improved access to broadband, and maximizing opportunities to involve local suppliers.
Will you use local suppliers?
Yes. We have a 'Local Supplier' registration link on the website and please get in touch if you are a local business and interested in the project. We plan to organise 'Meet the Developer' events for businesses (either virtual or in person depending on Covid guidance) in the future and we are dedicated to working with the local supply chain.
Do you offer shared ownership?
If there is interest in the community, we are committed to offering an element of shared ownership in our projects.
We work with Local Energy Scotland to explore community ownership opportunities, and we can arrange separate meetings on this if there is interest. Contact us to find out more.
Consultation & Engagement
How did you advertise the May 2021 consultation event?
An invitation to attend the virtual exhibition was sent to over 2,000 homes, advertised in the Press & Journal and advertised on social media to ensure that local residents know about the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposal. The invitation included a freepost reply card and an 0800 phone number for those who are unable to participate online.
We encourage consultees to Register for Updates to follow the project as it progresses.
How can I keep updated with project news?
We will keep this Loch Liath Wind Farm project website updated with the latest news and milestones for the project.
If interested, whether a local resident or a business, you can Register for Updates on the project and we will contact you as we progress the plans. We follow all GDPR guidelines in relation to personal data and you can opt out at any time.
You are encouraged to contact us directly to chat with one of the project team.
Are you in contact with community representatives?
We have introduced ourselves and the project to local and neighbouring Community Councils and Ward Councillors. We will continue to keep them updated on progress.
What is the impact of Covid-19 on the consultation process?
We are following Scottish Government guidance in relation to Covid-19. The Scottish Government has made it clear that investment should continue where possible, but that this should not be at the expense of community consultation and engagement. The online consultation held on May 2021 replaces a traditional public exhibition held in a village hall and it is our aim that our consultation activities make our plans more accessible than before.
We hope that it will be safe to meet with local residents and community representatives at some point throughout the development process.
We appreciate that not everyone will have access to the online consultation material, so we wrote to over 2,000 homes and business with a freepost reply card so that they can view the project information and provide feedback offline. We have also provided an 0800 number for people to contact us.
What opportunities will there be to engage in future?
Following the consultation event (21 May - 14 June 2021), we will evaluate all feedback and will use it to help refine our proposal. We still welcome questions and comments after this time, but it may mean feedback isn’t able to be considered before the plans are refined further.
We hope to submit a Section 36 application (to the Scottish Government) later in 2021. There is an opportunity to provide a formal representation to the Scottish Government – we will keep our project website updated with news on how to do this.
We encourage you to Register for Updates on the main project page to be kept up to date with project progression.
- Ask a question and one of our team will respond as soon as possible.
- Request a call-back
- Write to Freepost Statkraft (no stamp or further address details required)
- Phone 800 772 0668
I have a question not answered here...
We encourage everyone who visits this site to provide feedback and comment. We welcome the chance to meet local residents face-to-face when it is safe to do so.