Simec, which is part of the GFG Alliance, has submitted the application for the Glenshero Wind Farm to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit.
If approved, the 168MW scheme would be built about 8km north-west of Laggan and would comprise 39 turbines. The wind farm would trigger up to £158m of capital investment with approximately £23m being spent in the Highland’s economy during construction alone, said Simec. Contracts for services that would likely be awarded to local firms include; haulage, aggregates, plant hire, concrete and accommodation, it said. Under the plans, steel for the wind-tower structures could also be rolled at GFG’s Liberty Dalzell plant in Motherwell and the towers could possibly be fabricated at a new neighbouring wind turbine manufacturing facility, which the company hopes to set up.
The detailed environmental and technical studies as well as the consultation process have been conducted by renewable energy company RES, Simec’s chosen developer for the project. The consultation with the local community saw over 900 newsletters sent out to residents and over 70 attendees at public exhibitions at Laggan and Fort Augustus.
If approved, Simec intends to develop opportunities for the local community to share in the ownership of the wind farm.
The Glenshero project is also central to GFG Alliance’s plan to undertake development of the Lochaber estate lands, including expanding existing hydropower production.
Jay Hambro, chief executive of Simec, said: “Developing this wind farm will be a landmark for green energy in Scotland and we are proud to bring forward a project that will deliver clean, competitive power to Scottish industry and the wider economy. Onshore wind has been shown to provide one of the cheapest and cleanest forms of power on the market today so we look forward to pressing ahead with this exciting scheme.”