MELVICH Wind Energy Hub

LOCATION

The site is an area of open moorland and common grazing located on the north coast of Scotland to the southwest of Melvich in Sutherland. 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 13 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.

The Highland Council has consented the installation of a temporary meteorological mast which will be erected shortly and used to measure and validate the wind resource at the Melvich site.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

At Belltown Power we recognise a fundamental 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 holding two public consultation events in June 2022, please see details of the events below,

 Strathy Village Hall – Monday 13 June – 2 – 7pm

 Hallidale Village Hall – Tuesday 14 June – 12 – 2pm

 The Belltown team will be on hand to answer any questions you have on the Melvich Wind Energy Hub project and to get your feedback on our plans. We will follow this first consultation event with a further public consultation later this year before submitting a planning application in early 2023.

 Following the feedback from our public consultation events and results from our initial surveys of the site we will continue our engagement with the surrounding communities, local Community Councils and stakeholder groups to achieve the best possible design outcome.

 In the meantime, you can still contact the project team directly by emailing:  melvich@belltownpower.com or complete our enquiry form here.

 

COMMUNITY BENEFIT AND OWNERSHIP

Belltown Power fundamentally believes 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:

  • Offering local community organisations 1% of the equity in the project for free.
  • Enabling them to buy a further 4% of the equity at cost once the project is operational.
  • Offering them as much further ownership as they want to take at market value (up to a maximum 49% share of the equity)

We also commit to provide £5,000 per MW per annum (index linked) of Community Benefit. We want to hear your views on how The Melvich Wind Energy Hub can best support your community.

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 over 3m tonnes of C02 compared to fossil fuel generation and could power up to 46,000 homes.