North Kyle Wind Farm Technical due diligence on an old fossil fuel site transitioning to renewables

North Kyle wind farm

The North Kyle Wind Farm is a development consisting of 49 wind turbines located near Dalmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland. The site was previously mined for coal and needs regeneration since the collapse of the coal industry. The project, which will have a total installed capacity of 220 MW, is the largest onshore wind farm development currently in construction in the UK and will be one of the biggest operational onshore wind farms in the UK once commissioned. 


What was the aim of the work? 

The client asked Natural Power to undertake technical due diligence services to help support the development through project financing with a lender. This included validating the client’s key decisions turbine technology, ground conditions, environmental studies and permitting consents, project civil and electrical design, grid connection arrangements, overall project schedule, and the technical inputs to the financial model. 

Our technical due diligence services also included a review of the Equator Principles for relevant Environmental, Social, and Governance standards. Furthermore, we reviewed the energy yield assessment and presented our annual production estimates at various bankable confidence levels. 


The project 

The Natural Power team closely collaborated with the client’s technical, commercial and development teams throughout the diligence process. 

The client and the Natural Power team worked hard and efficiently to overcome an number of challenges under very tight project timelines. These challenges included complex terrain and ground conditions as a result of the site’s mining history extensive forestry clearance. The scale of forestry operations would be considerable for a conventional stand-alone forestry site, when done in parallel with the construction of a wind farm and the delivery of turbine components the interface between contractors required robust planning.  

From an ecological perspective, the site is a highly diverse one and required great care in planning and ongoing environmental monitoring.  

Overall, the construction schedule faced tight constraints requiring rigorous management. 

Natural Power’s diligence team closely interfaced with the client to understand the management strategy in place to mitigate the key risks described to inform the technical due diligence report. 

What was the outcome? 

Natural Power provided the client with a comprehensive technical due diligence report that clearly highlighted the challenges facing the site and the financial risks associated with these. 

Natural Power has developed a deep understanding of the site and the associated challenges and was separately commissioned to undertake the site investigation works and owner’s engineer services. Natural Power are currently working closely with Brockwell to bring the development plans to fruition. 


What did Natural Power do to get this result? 

Natural Power was able to draw upon its experience of over 3,000 technical due diligence projects globally and involved staff from a range of disciplines to review and provide expert analysis and commentary on the site. This included land agents, environmental planners, ecologists, civil engineers, geologists and geotechnical engineers, electrical engineers, energy analysts, and experienced project managers. It was also able to apply its local knowledge of the site. Natural Power’s headquarters, The Greenhouse is situated less than 20 miles away so many of the staff involved had firsthand experience of the site and an understanding of its unique terrain and sensitivities of the local community. It has also been supporting wind farm developments in the local area for the past 25 years, giving it unparallelled knowledge that it was able to share with Brockwell Energy’s project team. 


Client Feedback

“Brockwell’s development efforts for North Kyle started in 2017. It was a large, complex and challenging site to develop. Natural Power were the ideal partner to test and validate our development and design decisions and to help our lenders to get comfortable with the quality of the development process and deliverability of the project. The experience and knowledge that Natural Power were able to bring to the table made them an obvious appointment for the Owners Engineer role in the construction phase of the project.”


Richard Buckland, Senior project manager, Brockwell Energy