New Project Taps The Wind Energy Potential Of Scotland.
The Scottish Borders is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, Midlothian, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and, to the south and east, Northumberland in England.
The Scottish Borders economy has the potential to realise significant economic investment from a new wind farm proposed by leading Glasgow based renewable energy company RES. Highlee Hill Wind Farm near Chesters is estimated to bring £3.6 million of inward investment into the local economy in the form of jobs, employment and use of local services, alongside approximately £575,000 annually in business rates.
The 13 turbine wind farm, south east of Hawick, is subject to a planning application recently submitted to the Scottish Borders Council. The project has the potential to provide sufficient renewable energy to meet the average demand of more than 30,000 homes – equivalent to the local towns of Jedburgh, Hawick, Selkirk and Kelso combined.
The Wind Energy Potential of Scotland.
On a wider scale Highlee Hill Wind Farm will also make an important contribution to the overall generation mix in Scotland, increasing energy security and reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels. Onshore wind, importantly, is a home-grown fuel source and not only the cheapest form of large scale low carbon electricity but also the cheapest option for any new generation. It has a critical role to play in helping stabilise and secure our future energy needs, and projects such as Highlee Hill provide real opportunities for helping to achieve this.
Ruth Elder, RES Development Manager, said:
A wind farm at Highlee Hill could provide significant benefits to the local economy as it would represent a major inward investment in the area. RES has a strong track record for involving local businesses with its projects and utilising the skills and services available locally. We will be working hard to ensure that we maximise local job and supply chain opportunities, together with seeking ways in which the project can support and benefit the local area.
We’ve undertaken a range of engagement activities to design a project that we believe reflects the best balance of economic, environmental and social considerations. We have selected a taller turbine at Highlee, which we believe is acceptable within the landscape and will optimise the amount of electricity that can be generated with fewer turbines. Onshore wind is the least expensive form of large scale low carbon electricity and by utilising wind energy at a site like Highlee Hill we are helping to make an important transition to a low cost, low carbon future for Scotland – great for consumers and our economy.
The project will now enter into a statutory consultation period, following validation of the planning application, which will be advertised and run by Scottish Borders Council in order to gather formal comments on the proposal.
I am sure we will continue to see new projects to tap the vast wind energy potential of Scotland and the wider UK.
Gordon’s expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.