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Mon November 18 2019

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SSE takes step towards its first subsidy-free wind farm

7 Nov SSE Renewables has secured revised consent for what it hopes will be its first subsidy-free onshore wind farm.

It welcomed this week’s decision by Scottish ministers to revise the planning consent for the 11-turbine extension to Gordonbush onshore wind farm, which is about about 12km north west of Brora in Sutherland. SSE Renewables 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.

The existing 70MW, 35-turbine Gordonbush Wind Farm has been generating energy since 2012 as part of SSE Renewables portfolio of nearly 2GW of operational onshore wind farms across the UK and Ireland. Consent had previously been granted in 2017 for a 15-turbine extension alongside the existing Gordonbush site.

The revised consent will see turbine numbers reduced from 15 to 11 whilst increasing the height of the turbines by less than 20m to 149.9m.

The reduction in turbine numbers reflects the rapid development of wind turbine technology and will allow SSE to take advantage of much more powerful turbines to maximise the energy generation potential and efficiency of the site.

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SSE Renewables development project manager Gillian Wilson, 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.”

Should the project reach a positive final investment decision, SSE Renewables will engage with the Highlands and Islands Open4Business platform and host ‘meet the buyer’ events for the local and Scottish supply chain.

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