Plans have been submitted for an extension of a wind farm in Upper Nithsdale.
Energy firm ERG UK has lodged an application with the Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit to extend the Sandy Knowe wind farm.
If approved, the extension would see the addition of six new turbines, as well as a new battery storage facility.
Members of the public can submit representations on the application to the Energy Consents Unit between August 26 and September 28.
The original project, for 24 turbines, received planning permission from Dumfries and Galloway Council in 2016.
ERG UK says that if the extension is granted, community benefit funds of up to £5,000 per megawatt (MW) of installed capacity each year will be made available to communities in the area, in line with Scottish Government policy.
The Sandy Knowe community benefit currently amounts to around £400,000 a year, but that could rise by £108,000 a year if the extension plans are approved.
In 2020 the Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit granted consent to increase the output generating capacity above 50MW by allowing the installation of 3.6MW turbines without changes to the design.
Sandy Knowe Wind Farm is currently under construction. Additional available grid capacity in the connection prompted Sandy Knowe’s project team to consider extending the development further. With access to infrastructure designed for the original project, the six new turbines could be added without the need to build additional grid cables.
An ERG spokesperson said of the new application: “With Sandy Knowe Wind Farm well underway, we envisage the addition of six new turbines will maximise the potential of the site. Adding battery storage capabilities will help network operators manage the power flows from intermittent generation on the GB grid network.
“With renewable energy output more important than ever, the site would allow ERG’s contribution to the UK energy transition and to the local area to be bolstered.
“We would like to share thanks to the local community for their feedback and support over the last 10 years, and look forward to continuing our relationship.”
To find out more about the project, visit https://sandyknowewindfarm.com/.
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