Approval for wind farm expansion

Crystal Rig wind farm on the border between East Lothian and the Scottish Borders
Crystal Rig wind farm on the border between East Lothian and the Scottish Borders

Crystal Rig wind farm operators have been given planning consent for an extra six turbines to be added to the 85 already on the Lammermuir landscape.

David Brunt, CEO for Fred Olsen Renewables said: “We are delighted that the Scottish Minsters have given Phase III the go-ahead.

“It is an uncertain time for the renewable industry in the UK, yet projects like this, which have the support of local communities and the Scottish Government, are shown to bring demonstrable benefits both at a local and national level.”

The initial eleven additional turbines were reduced to seven, but in giving consent for the majority of the planned expansion, Catherine Cacace, acting head of energy consents for the Scottish Ministers, refused consent for one turbine and a borrow pit (in line with East Lothian Council objections) and restricted the height of three of the turbines to 100 metres, the other three being 110 metres.

Ms Cacace said: “Scottish Ministers consider that this development is broadly supported by policy, in that it represents sustainable development and makes a small but significant contribution towards meeting greenhouse gas emission and renewable electricity targets. The development does not currently support the target of 500MW of renewables in community or local ownership by 2020, but the extension to Crystal Rig wind farm would provide power equivalent to the needs of 8496 homes.

“This increase is consistent with Government’s policy on the promotion of renewable energy.

“Ministers accept that some impacts remain - cumulative, visual and landscape - but consider the development acceptable in light of the benefits it will bring.”