An additional 26 wind turbines for Crystal Rig

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

The fifth phase of Crystal Rig wind farm in the Lammermuirs is being planned, potentially increasing it to 119 turbines.

A scoping report for a further 26 turbines was submitted to Scottish Borders Council last week, the turbines varying in height - the tallest 135m - and the new turbines will be sited amongst the existing ones.

Natural Power Consultants Ltd, who submitted the report on behalf of wind farm operators Fred Olsen Renewables Ltd say: “There is sufficient capacity at the existing Crystal Rig substation to at accommodate a grid connection for the proposed development.

“The remaining spare capacity, of least 200MW, allowed for current proposed development.”

“It is believed that the proposed development will not add significantly to the visual presence of turbines in the area.”

There have been wind turbines at Crystal Rig since 2003; the initial 20 being added to over various phases. There are currently 86 turbines, a decision on a further six or seven is pending, and this latest plan for another 26 would bring the total at Crystal Rig to 119.

Neighbouring Aikengall wind farm has also undergone phased development and currently has 35 turbines, with plans to increase it up to 65 turbines.

Grid capacity at Crystal Rig was initially restricted to 164MW but a direct connection to the 400Kv line from Torness Power Station secured a grid capacity of up to 200MW.

The substation at Crystal Rig will have a major input into the national grid, not just from the onshore turbines in the immediate locality (Crystal Rig and Aikengall wind farms) but also from offshore wind energy from the proposed North Sea wind farm Neart na Gaoithe which will also connect into the national grid at Crystal Rig. The electricty will be brought ashore at Thorntonloch near Torness Power Station and will be fed through underground cables to Crystal Rig substation.

Last year ScottishPower Transmission Ltd as part of the Neart na Gaoithe wind farm connection, put forward their plans to construct an extension to the existing 400kV substation at Crystal Rig.

Consultation on the latest Crystal Rig turbine extension was planned to start this summer involving disucssions with local community council and public exhibitions.