Dalquhandy is located west of Coalburn in South Lanarkshire and was an active surface mining operation from 1987. The last coal was extracted in 2008 and the site restored to pasture and woodland. The private road linking Dalquhandy to the motorway system was retained with a view to allowing access for development and agriculture.
A brief history
At the liquidation of Scottish Coal in 2013 the Dalquhandy land and intellectual property was acquired by Hargreaves, as part of a package of land and operational sites across Scotland’s coalfields.
Since then Hargreaves has successfully implemented imaginative restoration schemes for sites left derelict by events in 2013. Where possible, renewable energy projects such as Dalquhandy have been proposed as an alternative use and investment.
Brockwell Energy was established in 2017 as a subsidiary of Hargreaves to develop and operate energy generation assets. In October 2018, Pioneer Point Partners acquired Brockwell in partnership with global investment firm Davidson Kempner.
The site has several beneficial characteristics from a wind energy perspective. It has good wind resource and proximity to a grid connection point and substation at Coalburn.
There are no environmental designations on the site or in the near vicinity.
The retained road can be used as access, allowing construction traffic and abnormal loads to enter directly from the M74, without passing through nearby settlements.
There are opportunities to improve local public access, often by using infrastructure provided for the project, such as engineered access tracks. These can link to longer walks in the area.
The original planning application for Dalquhandy project was submitted in February 2012 by Scottish Coal, based on 15 turbines with a blade tip height of up to 126.5 metres.
Following acquisition of the site by Hargreaves, the decision was taken to continue with this proposal, which is now being led by Brockwell Energy.
During 2013 and 2014 extensive consultation was undertaken with all interested parties – such as SEPA, SNH, RSPB, MoD – and local communities, to address all potential concerns regarding the original application. The site was recommended for approval by South Lanarkshire Council’s Planning Department and approved at planning committee. A non-material variation gave further approval to increase tip heights to 131 metres.
Following the removal of all government subsidies for onshore wind projects, Brockwell has been considering variations to the original planning permission to maximise wind yield and site efficiency – this will allow the site to be developed in a subsidy-free environment. This includes consideration of improved turbine designs, and amending the height or blade length of turbines to optimise the wind resource available.
Brockwell Energy remains committed to investing in wind energy at Dalquhandy and has made a further planning submission to South Lanarkshire Council to optimise the wind farm design. This application will seek to:
Increase tip heights to 149.9 metres for 11 of the 15 turbines; the remaining 4 turbines will remain at 131 metres to tip.
Amend some access tracks on site, and provide an alternative substation location.
The current application details are available for viewing and comment here by using the Simple Search function and the reference number P/18/1861.
The non-technical summary is available for viewing here.
Consultation is at the heart of the Brockwell development ethos.
We communicate at a grassroots level with residents and community groups – we love to listen and enjoy dialogue.
Our public exhibitions and consultation events give everyone the opportunity to view our plans in detail, discuss these in person and provide feedback ahead of the planning submission.
We actively seek views on how to fulfil the economic and social aspirations of the local community.
We liaise with Community Councillors, South Lanarkshire Councillors, MSPs and MPs.
A significant community benefit package will also be made available during the 25 operational years of the Broken Cross project, with the community consulted widely over the potential uses for such funds. The industry community benefit standard of £5k/MW of installed capacity will be adopted by Brockwell for this site.