South Ayrshire / Dumfries and Galloway, ScottishPower Renewables
In February 2013 the Scottish Government granted consent for ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) to develop and operate a 96 turbine windfarm in and around Kilgallioch and Purgatory Forests, known as Kilgallioch Windfarm. When constructed, the site will have the capacity to generate up to 288 megawatts, one of the largest single onshore wind farm applications ever submitted in the UK. The importance of a project of this scale required a rigorous EIA process.
OPEN was responsible for the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) of the windfarm, working as part of an environmental team with Arcus Consulting. OPEN used windfarm design software to assist with the layout design process, working with the project team and statutory consultees to develop the wind farm layout. The windfarm design was influenced by the desire to avoid or minimise potential effects on views and landscape character, but also on archaeological features, watercourses, peat, wildlife, recreation and the noise environment. Technical elements such as turbine spacing, wind capture, ground conditions and safety were also considered during the design process, together with feedback from the local community and consultees.
The LVIA found that the development would create a large-scale renewable energy landscape, consolidating existing and consented windfarm development in the plateau moorland areas found in this region of Dumfries and Galloway and South Ayrshire. The site is within a search area for large scale windfarms and has an existing landscape character with capacity for windfarm development, comprising commercial forestry, moorland, large scale landforms and wide scale, and being relatively remote from areas of habitation, all of which will improve the accommodation of the windfarm in the landscape.