Lochluichart Extension II Wind Farm
The Lochluichart Extension II Wind Farm was approved by The Highland Council in June 2020.
The Wind Farm, located near to Garve in Ross and Cromarty was submitted by Infinergy Ltd and Avian Ecology we’re pleased to provide technical ecology and ornithology support through the project.
The Wind Farm, consisting of up to 5 turbines, with a tip height of 133m is located within a wind farm dominant landscape, with Lochluichart and Lochluichart Extension I Wind Farms located immediately south of the Site, and Corriemoillie Wind Farm located to the east.
Avian Ecology prepared the Ecology and Ornithology Chapters included within the submitted Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA Report). We designed and undertook field surveys including Vantage Points, Moorland Breeding Birds, Raptor Searches, Breeding Diver and Black Grouse searches and a full suite of protected terrestrial species surveys (bat surveys, Extended Phase 1 habitat survey, National Vegetation Classification survey (NVC), pine marten and otter and water vole survey).
We provided constraints analysis which influenced the layout to avoid sensitive ecological and ornithological receptors and the loss of blanket bog and wet heath habitats were minimised.
The EIA Report concluded in No Significant Effects as a result of the project in recognition of the careful design and embedded mitigation included within proposals. Mitigation for protected species was however included to ensure legislative compliance (e.g. breeding birds, water vole and avoidance of destruction to burrows).
The local area is known for supporting the remarkable red throated diver, a migratory waterbird which breeds on freshwater lochs in Scotland. The careful design of the Wind Farm and through liaison with NatureScot and nearby operating wind farms, significant effects on this species were avoided.
Avian Ecology are now supporting Infinergy Ltd with a new application for an increase in tip height from 133m to 149.9m to increase MW capacity. The new application is at Scoping stage with The Highland Council.