Scottish Ministers have today, Friday 21st October, approved an application by Fred. Olsen Renewables to extend Rothes Wind Farm in Moray. The plans, for an additional 28 turbines, will bring the total number of turbines at the site to 68, with the potential to generate more than 100 MW of additional electricity.
The Rothes application was prepared and submitted on behalf of Fred. Olsen Renewables by Natural Power.
Emily Galloway, Technical Director at Natural Power, said: “Natural Power’s Onshore Consenting and Environmental Impact Team, along with input from various technical specialists, are proud to have supported Fred. Olsen Renewables in the successful consenting of a further extension to Rothes Wind Farm. This consent takes the existing legacy of the operational site, which has been a show case project for environmental and habitat management, forward for another 35 years.
“Natural Power’s operations team already service the existing Rothes 1 and 2 wind farms providing 11 wind turbine technical jobs in the local community. Having the opportunity to expand these services and increase local employment opportunities is an exciting prospect as well.”
Rothes Wind Farm is located approximately 4km west of Rothes and first became operational in 2005. The wind farm originally consisted of 22 turbines and was extended in 2012. It currently generates 92 MW and the decision today will bring the total capacity at the site to over 190 MW.
The project has delivered more than £1m in community benefit funds and the new plans will see more than £500,000 distributed annually in the local area – more than £17.5m throughout the lifetime of the project.
Julie Aitken, Senior Project Manager at Fred. Olsen Renewables, said: “We welcome today’s decision from the Scottish Government. Rothes Wind Farm has been operational for almost 20 years and during this time it has delivered considerable community benefit locally, helped to support the local economy and made a substantial contribution towards our net zero targets.
“Consenting the extension will allow us to build on this track record and work with the local community and stakeholders to make sure that Rothes Wind Farm continues to be an asset to the local area.”
Construction of the extension is anticipated to commence in 2026 with the project being fully operational by 2027.