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Costa Head Wind Farm

Costa Head Wind Farm benefits from excellent wind resource.

Planning Consented

Welcome to

Costa Head Wind Farm

Costa Head Wind Farm benefits from excellent wind resource.

Our projects were the first on Orkney to secure planning consent, hold grid connections and win CfDs (Contracts for Difference). Approved since 2015, we have been working to ensure the new interconnector was approved.

Costa Head Wind Farm will provide greater security of energy supply, economic and community benefits, employment and renewable energy investment opportunities.

The Project

Costa Head Wind Farm supported the case to bring a new subsea grid connection to Orkney and since 2015 we have been working to ensure the new interconnector was approved.

Our projects were the first on Orkney to secure planning consent, hold grid connections and win CfDs (Contracts for Difference). Now approved, the benefits of a new interconnector include greater security of energy supply, economic and community benefits, employment and renewable energy investment opportunities.

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Proposed Development

Predicted environmental effects arising from the Proposed Developments have been mitigated as far as possible, if not eliminated during the iterative design process. Additional specific mitigation measures have been committed to by the Applicant, to further reduce adverse effects during the construction, operational and decommissioning phases of the development.

Benefits

Across our portfolio of renewable energy projects, we have championed biodiversity as a critical milestone on the journey towards a low-carbon future.

Onshore wind provides one of the cheapest source of new electricity in the UK, cheaper than gas, nuclear, coal and other renewables. Wind resource is plentiful in Scotland and can be utilised to provide security of supply and add to the renewable energy generation mix.

Key Project Documents

In this section, you will find key information about the project which you able to download and view or print at home.

Costa Head Site Location

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Non-technical Summary Report

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Transmission Link Report

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Economic Benefits

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FAQs

Low Carbon is the developer of this project and we share as much information as possible during the lifetime of our projects.

Here is a selection of questions that have been asked relating to wind farm installations/builds.

What are the benefits of this wind farm to the local environment and community?

Costa Head Wind Farm has consent for four turbines, and an installed capacity of up to 16.32MW (megawatts) and the maximum tip height is 125m.

Community Benefit Fund

As well as contributing to the Needs Case for a new Orkney interconnector, the project has committed to a Community Benefit Fund in line with Scottish Government best practice. The fund is £5,000 per MW, exists for the duration of Costa Head Wind Farm’s operational life (25 years) and is index linked. For a 16.32MW wind farm this would provide £81,000 every year to the local community or £2.04m over the lifetime of the project (before indexation).

Fuel Poverty - Enhanced Community Benefit Fund

Orkney's Fuel Poverty Strategy is to eradicate fuel poverty by 2032, while at the same time maximising the use of Orkney's renewables potential to benefit the community in Orkney.

If the entity in receipt of Costa Head Community Benefit Fund is willing to donate £1,000 per MW towards alleviating fuel poverty, we will match fund this initiative with an additional £1,000 per MW, per annum. For a 16.32MW wind farm like Costa Head this could provide up to £32,640 additional fuel poverty funding every year, or £816,000 over the lifetime of the project.

We worked with THAW ORKNEY [http://www.thaworkney.co.uk] to illustrate the sort of reach this funding could have, including property repairs, draught exclusion, internal wall insulation, external wall insulation, high retention storage heaters, and air to air heat pumps.

Shared ownership opportunity

From the outset of our involvement in these projects, we have been keen (and people have asked us) to ensure our Orkney projects offer some form of shared ownership for the local community to invest in. Ultimately, we would like to work with the local community groups and individuals to arrive at a sustainable and financially sound position which benefits the whole community.

We have committed to making up to 10% of the project value available for shared ownership investment. 10% is not a cap and the level of offering will be based on the level of local interest.

The timing of any shared ownership opportunity will be post construction (eliminating construction risk). An entity would be established by the community with the ability to raise finance from a number of sources. One of those sources may be individual Orcadians contributing to the investment, and this is something which can be explored further with the help of independent advisors.

The model the community chooses will depend on the community’s objectives and how best to finance the project. We will support the community in getting access to the appropriate independent advisers who will be able to help identify what best aligns with community aims.

Communities can get independent advice and support to decide if community ownership is right for them.If you would like to register your interest, please contact us.

You can find further resources here [https://localenergy.scot/hub/shared-ownership/]

https://friendsoftheearth.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/the_benefits_of_community_ownership.pdf

Supply chain

Construction and operation of a wind farm construction involves a wide range of skilled contractors. When we evaluate tenders against the usual criteria such as health and safety and environmental record, we will also give significant weight to those principal and sub-contractors who can offer apprenticeships and work experience opportunities.

We will be holding another Meet the Buyer event in Orkney, and if you would like to register you or your company’s interest, we would love to hear from you.

What is Hoolan Energy’s relationship with Low Carbon?

Hoolan Energy was established in 2015 by Low Carbon as a specialist renewable energy developer with a focus on Scottish onshore wind, marine and tidal projects, including Costa Head and Hesta Head Wind Farms on Orkney. The Low Carbon brand will now be used for all our projects.

Orkney’s grid is at capacity. How will this project work?

We are delighted that Ofgem has recently approved a new interconnector for Orkney. This is an important milestone which is the result of years of collaboration.

Costa Head Wind Farm and Hesta Head Wind Farm support the case to bring a new subsea grid connection to the islands, and since 2015 we have been working to ensure a new interconnector for Orkney is approved.

Our projects were the first on Orkney to secure planning consent, hold grid connections and win CfDs (Contracts for Difference), providing Ofgem with certainty that a new interconnector provides value for money.

Why is the grid infrastructure that is needed for the wind farm not part of your planning application?

We secured Transmission Entry Capacity grid connections for our projects in Orkney with National Grid.The grid connection date has been significantly delayed and we currently expect to connect in 2027.

Costa Head Wind Farm itself would not necessarily need pylon towers, more likely double wooden poles; but the route, design and application process are the responsibility of Scottish & Southern Energy Networks (Transmission).

Any proposed grid connection by SSEN is subject to environmental surveys, public engagement events and feedback, and consultation with statutory consultees and decision makers such as Orkney Islands Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and Historic Environments Scotland. This consultation is carried out by SSEN.

Is the energy from the project going to go to Orkney households?

The electricity generated by the turbines will go into the national grid, but does contribute to Scotland’s net-zero goals and the UK security of supply. Once in the grid network, energy is distributed to the various Distribution Network Operators (DNO’s) who then supply customers.

What subsidy support will you receive?

There is no longer a subsidy for onshore wind or island onshore wind.

What about shadow flicker from turbines?

As part of the Environmental Impact Assessment surveys for the wind farm, a full shadow flicker assessment has been carried out and modelling results indicate no significant effects.

For the purposes of the assessment it is assumed that all properties face onto the proposed development and no local screening (vegetation and blinds/curtains) is considered.

Do you have fire detection systems in place should the wind farm be constructed?

Fire detection and suppression systems are standard options today on turbine models which would be appropriate for installation on our proposed development.

Health & Safety law, regulations and safe working practices are enforced throughout each stage of a wind farm life cycle, and subject to detailed, site specific design. Environmental protection and insurances form part of these comprehensive policies.