MELVICH Wind Energy Hub

LOCATION

The site is located on the north coast of Scotland to the southwest of Melvich in Sutherland. The site is an area of open moorland and common grazing. The A836 borders the proposed development to the north. It was identified due to its high wind speeds, nearby grid capacity and potential for habitat enhancement and community benefit.

PROJECT DETAILS

The project will comprise of up to 18 turbines with 149.9m tip heights as well as an energy storage facility (together referred to as a Wind Energy Hub). We will work together with the local community and common graziers to deliver a project that maximises local benefits and clean energy, whilst sympathetically protecting and enhancing its natural environment.

CURRENT STAGE AND PROPOSED TIMELINE

Belltown Power’s Project Team are working closely with relevant specialists in their field to carry out extensive site surveys and site assessments. This survey data will help refine the opportunity which we will then consult on throughout 2022 as part of Scoping, with an anticipated planning application in 2023 and a view to start construction in 2025.

A planning application has been submitted for the installation of a temporary meteorological mast which will be used to measure and validate the wind resource at the Melvich site.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

We recognise an essential part of good project development is early consultation to ensure local communities and stakeholders are given the opportunity to provide feedback and are kept informed of a project’s progress.

As part of this consultation process, we are excited to share initial project information for Melvich Wind Energy Hub and look forward to engaging with any questions you may have about the project. We ask that your questions be addressed to the project team, with your contact details included so that we can respond personally to your enquiry. You can contact the project team directly by emailing: melvich@belltownpower.com or complete our enquiry form here.

Once we have completed our next phase of surveys of the site and further developed the likely design envelope, we will be holding Public Consultation events for you to share your views and thoughts. We will also be engaging with local Community Councils and stakeholders to achieve the best possible design outcome, seeking to maximise the opportunity for the local communities to benefit from this project.

Information on these events and further consultation will be posted here in due course.

COMMUNITY BENEFIT AND OWNERSHIP

We fundamentally believe that onshore wind projects should benefit the communities that host them, regardless of whether the project is subsidised or not. Communities local to the Melvich Wind Energy Hub will benefit through our ground-breaking community ownership scheme (which includes giving local community organisations 1% of the equity in the project for free as well as the opportunity to invest further at cost once the project is operational) and, in addition, through £5,000/MW of community benefit funds per year for the lifetime of the project.

EDUCATION AND LOCAL ENVIRONMENT

We believe passionately about education and the local environment. We will engage with schools local to the project with a view to offering visits to the project once operational if possible, as well as the other educational activities and resources provided through The Belltown Education Programme.

As with all of our projects, we will be ensuring that the Melvich Wind Energy Hub delivers a net ecological benefit through careful habitat design, habitat creation, and habitat management. We will also offer significant, capacity-linked peatland restoration as part of our environmental enhancements. Over its operational life, the project could save 5.5m tonnes of C02 compared to fossil fuel generation and could power up to 83,000 homes.