West Kintyre wind farm reaches turbine milestone

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The final turbine at a 14-tower wind farm near Glenbarr was erected last week.

Blary Hill Wind Farm, which started construction in summer last year, has now entered the final phase of commissioning, testing, and reinstatement work ahead of completion in early 2022.

Once fully operational, the 35MW wind farm will be capable of generating clean, low-carbon and low-cost renewable electricity for around 33,000 homes, making an important contribution towards achieving Scotland’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2045, according to developer RES, the world’s largest independent renewable energy company.

‘This is a major milestone for the project and we’re pleased with how smoothly the turbine deliveries and turbine erection work has gone over the last few months,’ said Iain MacCallum, construction project manager at RES.

‘It has been one of the busiest phases of construction – not just on site but also for the area with the delivery of the turbine components – so we are especially grateful to the local community for their patience during this particularly busy time.

‘We’ve also worked hard to ensure that we connect with the local supply chain and involve them in the project.

‘Blary Hill is expected to create more than £3.9 million of inward investment for the local economy during the wind farm’s construction and first year of operation and we’ve seen this first-hand by working with businesses such as Donald McLean Contractors which undertook some of the civil works; Peter McKerral & Co hauliers, which extracted the timber from the site; Campbeltown Motor Company, which supplied some of our site vehicles; G McNaughton & Son, which provided plant hire; and McFadyens Transport hauliers, which helped todeliver the 126 turbine components to site by abnormal load.

‘We also recruited labour operatives from Campbeltown job centre – and this all adds up at a local level.’

Margaret Pratt, convener of West Kintyre Community Council, added: ‘We are very grateful for the care and consideration that RES has shown to our community during the construction of Blary Hill Wind Farm, particularly during Covid.

‘It has kept us consulted and up-to-date with the project and coordinated things well locally.

‘It’s also been good to see its commitment to involving the local supply chain with the project as this further benefits the local area.

‘We look forward to the wind farm being fully commissioned early next year.’

In addition to the inward investment delivered through the local supply chain, RES says the community will benefit from essential upgrades to the Barr Glen road, new parking  in Glenbarr village, and a £30,000 contribution towards an amenity project.

Blary Hill Wind Farm will also deliver around £8.2 million in business rates to Argyll and Bute Council.