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Faw Side Community Wind Farm moves a step closer

Faw Side Community Wind Farm

Community Windpower’s proposed Faw Side Community Wind Farm has moved a step closer, after the submission of ‘additional information’ to Scottish Government ministers.

Plans for the 45 turbine, 315MW wind farm were originally submitted to the Energy Consents Unit (ECU) through a Section 36 application in May 2019.

An ‘additional information’ request was made via a Regulation 19 application from the ECU, following formal consultation with statutory and non-statutory consultees, and it has now been formally submitted.

This includes information relating to ornithology, bats, cultural heritage, matters relating to peat management and peat slide risk, aviation and night-time lighting, landscape and visual updates and the provision of an outline Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) and an outline Habitat Management Plan (HMP).

It also includes minor modifications made to the access tracks onsite.

Gillian Cropper, projects director at Community Windpower, said: “We’ve spent the last 12 months diligently consulting with the relevant consultees and over the last few months have prepared the ‘additional information’ to ensure it fulfils all aspects of the Regulation 19 request from the Energy Consents Unit.

“This has been formally submitted and we hope Faw Side Community Wind Farm is now one step closer to a positive decision, thus helping deliver on the Scottish Government’s net zero target by 2045.

Faw Side Community Wind Farm will provide clean, green energy to power 343,000 homes annually and would offset more than 558,000 tonnes of CO2 every year, which equates to 22.3 million tonnes during its 40-year operational life*.

“It will also contribute significant financial benefit to the local communities, through a community benefit fund of £14m over its lifetime, which equates to £350,000 every year.

“Each community council would need its own trust fund to manage and administer the funding for its area.

“Additionally, Faw Side Community Wind Farm will contribute £157m to the Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders Councils through business rates, during its operational lifetime.

“We also have a ‘Buy Scottish’ policy, which means we’ll be using Scottish firms, wherever possible, during the construction and working life of the wind farm.

“At the same time as submitting the ‘additional information’ we’ve advertised it according to the EIA regulations and will be providing all relevant community councils with a copy of the submitted documents.

“We will also look to attend official community council meetings, once the current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted.”

The ‘additional information’, together with a copy of the EIA Report, is available free of charge on the Faw Side Community Wind Farm website (www.fawsidewindfarm.scot) and the Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit website (www.energyconsents.scot) using the reference ECU00001833.

The submission consists of the following key elements, plus other general updates:

  • LVIA (Section 6) Additional Information as requested by Scottish Borders Council, consisting of:
    • Replacement visualisations for VP 24 – Rubbers Law which uses new photography
    • A new visualisation taken from the A7 at Teviothead
  • Updated Section 7: Ornithology Assessment which now covers the two-year survey period;
  • Bat Addendum for Section 8, which covers the additional area of survey which required an extra season of survey;
  • Updated Section 9: Cultural Heritage Assessment to address comments raised by Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Borders Council Archaeology Officer;
  • Revised Peat Slide Risk Assessment;
  • Revised Peat Management Plan;
  • Revised Private Water Supplies Risk Assessment;
  • Revised Watercourse Crossings Assessment.

Other work and clarification has been produced which has been provided to the consultees including, but not limited to an outline Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) and an outline Habitat Management Plan (HMP).

*compared to fossil fuel mixed electricity generation.

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