Islay Community Wind Project: visualisation of turbine at site, near Castlehill, Isle of Islay
After extensive investigations into potential wind turbine sites, Islay Energy Trust (IET) identified a location near Castlehill, Isle of Islay, in 2010 (see map below). The landowner, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), agreed to a feasibility study, and Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL), owner of nearby Islay Airport, stated that it would not object to a planning application.
A metmast was erected at the proposed location in July 2012. After one year’s operation, average wind speed recorded is over 8.4 m/s, and turbulence levels are well within acceptable limits. The selected turbine is the world renowned 330kW Enercon E33, for which a contract for supply, installation and commissioning has been signed. The total height – ground to blade tip – is 61 metres. The capacity factor is estimated to be at least 39%, a conservative figure for the west coast of Scotland.
No significant issues were revealed by studies completed during the development phase, including:
- Visual Impact Assessment – completed by Land Use Consultants in May 2013
- 12 months bird survey requested by SNH, completed on 31 March 2013
- Geo-technical Survey – completed by Greencat Renewables in March 2012
- Transport and Access Survey – completed by Collets in December 2012
Construction started in June 2014 and was completed November 2014.