Renewables/Energy Transition

Trump to take windfarm battle to Supreme Court next month


Donald Trump will take his fight against plans for an offshore windfarm near his north-east golf resort to the highest court in the land next month. The tycoon’s case will be heard at the UK Supreme Court in London on October 8. The Court of Session rejected Mr Trump’s appeal against the £230million European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).

Renewables/Energy Transition

Campaigners celebrate after windfarm rejection


Campaigners were celebrating last night after the controversial Brown Muir windfarm plans were rejected by councillors. But SNP members of the local authority were facing a backlash from protesters amid accusations they put their party before the people by voting to back the scheme. The 12-turbine project tabled by Vento Ludens for a site between Elgin and Rothes attracted more than 1,300 objections. By contrast, Moray Council received just 20 submissions supporting the proposed development. The local authority’s planning and regulatory services committee blocked the application yesterday on the casting vote of chairman Chris Tuke.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Windfarm site proposal at Mormond gets knock back


Plans to build a windfarm at a north-east landmark overlooking the home village of former first minister Alex Salmond have been rejected by the Scottish Government. Muirden Energy wanted to erect a dozen 326ft turbines on top of Mormond Hill – Buchan’s highest peak. But the proposals left people in Strichen outraged and were blocked by Aberdeenshire councillors. Now their decision has been upheld by Scottish Government planning reporters after the developer appealed against the local authority’s decision.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Windfarm owners lodge plans for more turbines


Plans to expand one of Aberdeenshire’s biggest windfarms have been lodged. The owners of Glens of Foudland, near Huntly, first unveiled plans to add another nine turbines to their existing 20-mast development last year. After a public consultation revised plans for seven 328ft turbines have now been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Engie pays £3million to Scottish island community after halting windfarm


An island community is celebrating a £3million windfarm payout - without a single turbine being built. A French company will pay up as part of a "golden au revoir" deal after scrapping its £200million proposal for the Eishken estate on Lewis. Engie, previously trading as GDF-Suez, abandoned the project last October, blaming uncertainty about the laying of a connecting subsea cable to the mainland for its decision.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Developments ‘devour countryside’


Thousands of acres of the countryside have been swallowed up by development in the past few years, new land use maps have revealed. Wetlands were among the areas of landscape which were lost between 2006 and 2012, prompting concerns from wildlife experts about the disappearance of important habitat and the natural services such as flood protection they provide. In total 225,200 hectares or almost 870 square miles of the UK, around 1% of the country, showed changes in land use over the period, according to land cover maps launched by the University of Leicester and consultancy Specto Natura. The main change was clear-felling of more than 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres) of coniferous forest, largely in Scotland and Wales where much of the plantation forest is found, while around half the area was regrowing or had been replanted. Around 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) of mixed forest were also clear felled, according to the mapping which used satellite data from 2006 and 2012 and is based on 44 land cover and land use classes. The study also revealed that more than 7,000 hectares (17,000 acres) of forest was converted to “artificial surfaces” such as buildings, industrial sites and roads, while 14,000 hectares (35,000 acres) of agricultural land was lost to the spread of towns and cities. Wetlands were also lost to development, with more than 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of such areas vanishing under artificial surfaces.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Funding blow for windfarm project


Plans for a major offshore wind farm have suffered a setback after failing to land a UK Government funding deal. Moray Offshore Renewables Limited (MORL) missed out on a deal on a subsidy which would have guaranteed the price at which it sold electricity for a 15-year period. Formal consent for the project in the Moray Firth, off the coast of Caithness, was granted by the Scottish Government in March last year. MORL plans to build up to 62 turbines of 6MW to 8MW capacity on each of three sites. A 448-megawatt project in the Firth of Forth, Neart na Gaoithe, was instead successful in today’s contracts announcement from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) - the only Scottish offshore wind farm on the list.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Appeal against large-scale Shetland windfarm dismissed


Judges at the UK Supreme Court have dismissed an appeal against plans to build a large-scale wind farm in the Shetland Islands. Environmental campaigners at Sustainable Shetland challenged a decision to allow more than 100 turbines to be installed across three different areas on the islands. The group argued that when the Scottish Government backed the plans for the Viking wind farm project, which could provide energy for up to 175,000 homes, it failed to take into account “positive obligations” under European Union environmental legislation to protect the rare whimbrel bird and bring its population levels up to “favourable conservation status".

Renewables/Energy Transition

RSPB calls for judicial review into offshore windfarm projects


The RSPB has called for a judicial review after the Scottish Government gave consent for four offshore windfarms in the east of Scotland. The charity mounted a legal challenge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh over permission granted last October for four Scottish territorial and round three wind farms. The projects, in the Outer Forth and Tay, include Mainstream's 450MW Neart na Gaoithe, Repsol and EDP's 784MW Inch Cape and SSE and Fluor's 525MW Seagreen Alpha and 525MW Seagreen Bravo.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Scottish planning authorities receive scores of windfarm bids


Figures have revealed windfarm companies have submitted almost 200 planning bids for major developments in the past 18 months. The Freedom of Information statistics show the level of applications for windfarms of more than three turbines, with rural local authorities bearing the brunt of submissions. The data compiled also revealed the Western Isles received the most applications for windfarms in that time period, followed by Dumfries and Galloway and Highland.