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Updates 12 December 2017
This page has been around a long time and there are many changes since Dcember 2003.
Here are links to more up to date information
Highland council list of turbines - https://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/12505/wind_turbine_list

Up To December 2003
Location Grid Ref (approx) Developer
Novar, Evanton, RC NH 555 715 National Wind Power
Forss, by Thurso, CAITHNESS ND 019 695 Renewable Energy Systems
Causeymire, CAITHNESS ND 155 505 National Wind Power
Buolfruich, Houstry, Dunbeath, CAITHNESS ND 160 355 Anthony Hall/Enercon
Edinbane, SL
(subject to legal agreement)
NG 354 467 Amec Wind
Farr, Tomatin, IN
(No objection from Council requires Section 36 consent under Electricity Act 1989 from Scottish Ministers)
NH 735 290 National Wind Power
Beinn Tharsuinn, S of Dornoch Firth, RC + SU NH 617 819 Scottish Power
Ben Aketil, Dunvegan, SL NG 327 464 Renewable Development Co
Novar II extension, RC NH 550 710 National Wind Power
Gordonbush, Brora, SU NC 868 160 Scottish and Southern Energy
Hill of Lieurary, Westfield, CAITHNESS ND 080 620 Scotrenewables
Strath Brora (East), SU NC 793 086 Renewable Development Co
Cambusmore, S of Strath Fleet, SU NH 657 999 Renewable Energy Systems
South of Glen Moriston, IN NH 287 084 Renewable Development Co
Forss II extension, CAITHNESS ND 021 695 Renewable Energy Systems
Camster, Caithness - 25 turbines   Powergen Renewables
Dunmaglass, Strathnairn, IN NH 637 177 Renewable Energy Systems
Scoolary, CAITHNESS ND 290 690 British Energy
British Energy has gone but see Selectra for information
Corriemoillie, Garve, RC NH 347 677 Scottish Power
Melvich, SU NC 865 638 Fountain Forestry
Strath Brora (West), SU NC 721 111 Renewable Development Co
South Shebster, CAITHNESS ND 017 627 C W Sutherland
Stroupster, Nybster, CAITHNESS ND 342 664 National Wind Power
Burn of Whilk, Yarrows, CAITHNESS ND 296 415 National Wind Power
Baillie Hill, Westfield, CAITHNESS ND 035 650 Dudley Developments Ltd
Glenkirk, Tomatin, IN   Eurus Energy Ltd
West Garty, Helmsdale, SU   Mikon UK Ltd
Gartymore, Helmsdale, SU   RES
Crackaig, Loth, Helmsdale, SU   Border Wind Ltd
Borrowston, Dounreay, CAITHNESS ND 001 684 Scottish Power
14 January 03
Other Alternative Energy Schemes
Hydro electric Schemes are also advancing and 13 new hydro electric schemes have been approved in recent times by Highland Council.  A further four have been applied for and yet another four are at the scoping opinion stage.  None of the schemes are in Caithness and only on is in Sutherland - Loch Poll at Assynt.   These numerous developments underline the drive towards meeting targets of having much more energy in the UK from alternative sources and the market place for the purchase of this form of energy means that companies may be able to make good profits as there will still be a shortage of alternative energy sources fro a number of years.  Off shore schemes are being looked at increasingly as away of increasing the out put and the possibility of a major tidal schemes offshore are also being seriously considered.


The Highland Council is gearing up to cope with growing interest from energy companies for development of wind farms. One wind farm is currently operational; four applications have been approved; four applications are being processed; six are known to be in the pipeline; and many other enquiries have been made about potential sites.

The one wind farm which is operational is a 34 machine development at Novar, Evanton with an output of 17 megawatts. The operator is National Wind Power. Grid reference NH555715.

Wind Farms which have been approved by the Planning Committee but await construction are: -

* Fivestone Ltd has permission for two machines with a 2 MW output at Forss, by Thurso (Grid
   Reference ND019695);

* Mr Tony Hall, landowner, has permission for 15 machines with 9 MW output at Buolfruich, Houstry,
   Dunbeath (ND160355).  Tony Hall was the former owner of Highland Training.

* National Wind Power has permission for 24 machines with 48 MW output at Causeymire, Caithness
  (ND 155505).  National Wind Power Causeymire Page

* Amec Wind has permission for 27 machines with 47 MW output at Edinbane, Skye (NG354467).

Planning or Electricity Act applications submitted but not, as yet, determined are: -

* Scottish Power is seeking permission for 10 machines with 17 MW output at Borrowston, Dounreay

* National Wind Power is seeking permission for 45 machines with an output of 90 MW at Farr,  
  Tomatin (NH735290)    The Farr Proposal

* Scottish Power is seeking permission for 20 machines with an output of 35 MW at Beinn Tharsuinn,
   Easter Ross (NH617819)

* Renewable Development Company is seeking permission for 14 machines with an output of 21 MW
   at Ben Aketil, Dunvegan (NG327464)

Anticipated in the near future are the following: -

* National Wind Power is seeking an extension to the Novar site, Evanton.

* Scottish and Southern Energy is planning a development at Gordonbush, Brora (NC868160).

* Renewable Energy Systems is planning a development at Dunmaglass, Strathnairn (NH637177).

* Renewable Energy Systems is planning an extension at Forss, by Thurso.

* British Energy is planning a development at Schoolary, Mey, Caithness (ND290690).

On top of this, North British Windpower has publicised plans for a 50 machine development, with a 100 MW output, on the Skelpick Estate, near Bettyhill. 
The Bettyhill windfarm is being developed by North British Windpower Limited, an independent Scottish company based at Milnathort. The 50 turbines would be set well back from Strathnaver to the west and Bettyhill to the north-west, to reduce visual impact. There is already an old municipal landfill dump within the windfarm area. The potential annual output would be enough to supply all the electricity needed by more than 84,000 households, over 90% of the households in Highland region. Local authority rates would be more than 240,000 a year and North British Windpower also expects to make a substantial voluntary payment each year direct to Bettyhill and the neighbouring communities. - The Herald

If all of these were to go ahead, this would result in approximately 630 megawatts (gross capacity) of power being generated from wind energy.

And there is a significant number of developers who have made tentative enquiries about other potential sites for development.

While the Scottish Executive is currently setting national targets for the growth of the renewable energy sector, these are not at present translated into regional targets (e.g. for the Highlands and Islands, the South of Scotland, the Central Belt and North East Scotland). Therefore it is difficult at present to put a figure like 630 MW into any sort of context, and to plan on the basis of a desirable capacity for wind farms in a region. The Council believes strategic guidance is urgently needed from the Scottish Executive on regional capacities based on a range of factors, e.g. environmental, transmission network.

So why the current and future upsurge in interest in wind farms? Due to the terms of the Renewables Obligation (Scotland), electricity suppliers are obliged to provide a steadily increasing percentage of their electricity from renewable sources or pay a buy-out price. There is therefore a strong demand to secure new renewable energy sites whose output will qualify for Renewable Energy Certificates (ROCs). In terms of overall Scottish targets, the present proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources is 12%, and the intention is that this should rise to 18% by 2010 and the Executive is presently consulting on this level rising to 40% by 2020. In the longer term contributions may come from emerging technologies such as wave and tidal power.

Council representatives have recently visited a wind farm at Karstadt and Bluthen, which are located between Hamburg and Berlin in Brandenberg, Germany, to see large turbines (99 metres high to the tip) in action and to consider the community benefit that derives from large developments. Germany has 8,000 megawatts of renewable and wind energy activity and ranks first in the world for wind generation capacity. A small delegation has also visited a major wave power development in Belgium.

If there is to be significant activity in wind farm development in Highland, the Council is keen to encourage the establishment within the Inner Moray Firth area of a wind turbine manufacturing facility and is actively in discussion with potential developers.

The Council has decided that all applications for wind farms will be determined locally by the Planning Development Europe and Tourism Committee following a full hearings procedure. However applications for wind energy above 50 megawatts and hydro schemes above 1 megawatt are submitted to the Scottish Executive under Section 36 of the Electricity Act of 1989 for approval (e.g the Farr proposed wind farm). The Council in such cases acts a statutory consultee and this can be confusing for the general public. Therefore the Council intends to request a meeting with the Scottish Executive - possibly in liaison with other local authorities dealing with large wind farms - to seek to review these arrangements and to investigate various streamlining of procedures.

Significant future renewable energy development also raises the question of the capacity of the electricity transmission network. The Council wishes investment in the strengthening of the electricity grid in Highland to enable the renewable energy resource to be fully utilised. This cost should be met centrally to reflect the grid's national purpose. In particular, it would like to see capacity doubled on the main grid route between Beauly and Denny, Stirlingshire, and improvements between Dounreay and Inverness, and also along the North Coast of Sutherland.

The issue of local community benefit from wind farms is very important in Highland. The Council believes for example that local residents and community groups should be given the opportunity and assistance to invest in nearby renewable energy schemes and welcomes the establishment of the Community Renewable Energy Initiative at HIE which among other things will be exploring this possibility.

Quite separately, the Council has established a Community Benefit Working Group to consider how to maximise and optimise community benefit from developments, such as wind farms. A report is being prepared for consideration by the Sustainable Development Select Committee early next year.