A scoping report has been submitted to Scottish Ministers as plans progress for the creation of an energy project in North Lowther.

The North Lowther Energy Initiative, a partnership between Buccleuch and 2020 Renewables, is formulating proposals for the scheme to be located to the north west of Wanlockhead. The project would see the creation of landscape scale habitat management plans in addition to the wind farm development.

The scoping report details the layout of the 42 wind turbines at the site. Each turbine would have a maximum output in the region of 3.6MW, giving a total output of 151MW.

The submission of the scoping report marks the latest stage in the consultation process for the project. The report provides:-

  • a description of the proposed site and the project proposals
  • a summary of planning policy relevant to the development
  • a summary of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process

The scoping report details the proposed topics to be considered during the EIA process, setting out survey and assessment methodologies.  Once Scottish Ministers have received and considered comments in response to the scoping report, they will provide NLEI Ltd with a formal scoping opinion, detailing the topics they wish to see considered during the EIA process and included as part of any application.

As the EIA progresses, the design of the proposal will continue to be refined in response to the findings of the EIA prior to any application for consent being made.

Buccleuch and 2020 Renewables will continue to consult with residents and stakeholders in the region in order to receive comments on the plans. The scoping process does not replace this requirement for ongoing consultation with the wider community.

John Glen, chief executive of Buccleuch, said: “The plans for North Lowther are part of a wider renewable energy and Land Use Strategy that can deliver significant social, economic and environmental benefits for the region.

“The submission of the scoping report to Scottish Ministers marks the latest stage in the consultation process with local residents and stakeholders. We have received much valuable feedback which has already informed the design process and we hope this will continue to be built upon now and in the subsequent Environmental Impact Assessment.

“Project partners have also been discussing with various stakeholders how community benefit accruing from the scheme could be realised, and how this could assist in delivering the aspirations held in the local communities and beyond. This is an important process and we would encourage residents and stakeholders to engage with us on that.”

Alan Baker, managing director of 2020 Renewables, said: “The proposed design of the project has steadily evolved following initial feasibility studies and subsequent public consultation events. The feedback received has helped us arrive at a point where we believe we can develop a project that delivers for the local community as well as on environmental and energy targets.

“There is an opportunity for further refinements to the scheme before a formal planning application is made and we will ensure that all future feedback is taken into account during these next stages.”