SSE gets revised planning consent for Highland ‘subsidy-free’ wind farm extension

SSE Renewables has been granted a revised planning consent for an extension to Scotland’s first subsidy-free onshore wind farm in the Highlands. Scottish Ministers said yesterday they would revise the planning consent for an 11-turbine extension to Gordonbush onshore wind farm.

The original plans were for 15 turbines at the site, which SSE have now reduced.

Located more than 7 miles north west of Brora in Sutherland, the existing 70 megawatt (MW), 35-turbine Gordonbush Wind Farm has been operational since 2012.

The revised consent will see less turbines with an increased height of around 60 feet.

SSE said the reduction “reflects the rapid development of wind turbine technology”.

Gillian Wilson, SSE Renewables development project manager said: “Onshore wind farms and extensions have an important role to play in meeting Scotland’s net-zero ambitions, so we’re delighted to hear the news that Scottish Ministers have granted this extension. “The 11-turbine extension will complement the existing Gordonbush site, harnessing more of the excellent wind resource and making use of the existing infrastructure constructed for the operational Gordonbush Wind Farm.

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“We’ve been part of the East Sutherland community for almost a decade now and in that time we’ve been very pleased to have been able to help support the local community with £1.4m of approved community benefit funding to date, including supporting local employment and apprenticeships. We look forward to continuing this work in the community as we develop the extension.”

SSE Renewables said it will now consider the options for a route to market for the project – including the viability of building the project subsidy-free – ahead of taking a final investment decision.