Below are frequently asked questions. These will be added to as additional queries are raised and the project progresses during the development process.
Where is the Project?
The Lairdmannoch site is located approximately 7km northeast of Gatehouse of Fleet and 10km west of Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway.
What is an Energy Park?
Energy Parks are an innovative way of maximising the potential renewable energy benefits of a proposed site, allowing the efficient use of available resources to produce ‘clean’ energy.
At Lairdmannoch, the Energy Park is proposed to consist of a combination of wind turbines, solar panels and battery storage which will allow for the much more efficient production and export of renewable energy.
Why is the project needed?
There is a need to deliver more renewable energy schemes to meet the challenges we face on climate change. The move away from fossil fuels will help us to not only tackle climate change, but move towards energy security and help tackle the cost of living crisis through the delivery of more affordable alternative energy sources.
The project would also make an important contribution to Scottish Government targets to increase the amount of onshore wind. The Scottish Government outlined within its 2022 Wind Policy Statement a commitment to deliver 20GW of installed onshore wind by 2030. This is just over double Scotland’s current installed onshore wind capacity of around 9GW. So, there is a need for new projects such as Lairdmannoch Energy Park to meet this important target.
When would all this be delivered?
At present, we have an anticipated grid connection date of mid-2030, and so we would aim to deliver the project by then.
To facilitate this, we are currently looking to submit a planning application to the Energy Consents Unit (ECU) by Summer 2024.
Where can I view further information on the proposals?
Wind2 is at the very early stages of developing a planning application for its Lairdmannoch Energy Park proposals. The request for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Opinion to the Energy Consents Unit (ECU) is the first stage in understanding what assessments will be required as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment. The Scoping document was submitted to the ECU in August 2023. Click here to view the Scoping submission.
More information will be provided to local communities throughout the public consultation stages which are due to commence at the beginning of 2024. This website will be regularly updated with all the latest information as the project progresses.
Why has the Lairdmannoch site been selected for the proposed development?
At Wind2, we undertake an extensive multi-stage feasibility process when assessing a site’s suitability for renewable energy production. This involves looking at the various environmental and technical disciplines, such as noise, ecology, landscape impacts, residential amenity, grid, wind speed and many more.
Lairdmannoch has undergone this process and has been extensively reviewed by our experienced team and independent consultants. It has been selected as a very promising site for the production of renewable energy.
Will the energy generated from the Energy Park be distributed locally?
The energy generated on site will be fed directly into the grid, where it will be distributed across the network. Whilst Wind2 would like to see the electricity produced at Lairdmannoch distributed locally, this is managed by the Transmission Network Operator and so this unfortunately cannot be guaranteed.
However, the addition of renewable energy projects across Scotland will contribute to lowering energy bills over time, as onshore wind and solar are more cost effective at generating electricity than new thermal generation.
How will the Energy Park benefit the local communities?
Wind2 is committed to ensuring that the local communities benefit from the energy park and will be providing a dedicated community benefit fund as well as opportunities for community shared ownership.
As part of our upcoming round of public consultations, we will be seeking the views of local communities on how the fund should be distributed and used and the interest in the opportunity of community shared ownership. More information on both elements will be provided for discussion through our public consultation.
The Energy Park will also benefit the community through local job creation and the contribution of additional direct revenue to the local economy. The site has been optimised to ensure that these benefits are realised to their fullest extent.
How much energy will the Energy Park generate annually?
The proposals for Lairdmannoch Energy Park are still at a very early stage, however we currently expect to generate a combined total in the region of 222,254 MWh of energy per year. The average household electricity consumption in Scotland is approximately 3.296MW annually (BEIS, 2022). As such, Lairdmannoch Energy Park is expected to generate electricity equivalent to that required to power over 67,451 households in Scotland annually.
What is a grid connection agreement and has one been secured?
A grid connection agreement is the contractual arrangement between Wind2 and the power network to connect the energy park to the local grid. These agreements stipulate the amount of power that the grid has the capacity to take from the energy park and when the power can be connected.
Lairdmannoch Energy Park has secured grid connection capacity of up to 100MW with Scottish Power Transmission and National Grid.
Wind2 will continue to work with the Transmission Network Owners to ascertain what cabling will be required to facilitate the Energy Park.
Will the grid be able to take the additional electricity produced by the proposed Lairdmannoch Energy Park?
Yes, Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) is currently working to upgrade the transmission network in this region as part of its Kendoon to Tongland Reinforcement Project.
More information is available here: SP Energy Networks - Kendoon to Tongland Reinforcement Project.
How will the project mitigate potential impacts to local Cultural Heritage?
A detailed Cultural Heritage Assessment will be undertaken as part of the technical appraisals which are carried out to inform the planning application and accompanying Environmental Impact Assessment. This will identify all features of cultural heritage value both on the site itself and within the vicinity which could be impacted by the Project.
How much noise will the energy park create?
Wind2 will endeavour to minimise noise wherever possible through design and procurement of latest technologies for the Energy Park.
The specific noise impact of an energy park will depend on the technology mix, the site's location, and the efforts made by developers to minimize noise pollution. Wind2 will be working with independent consultants, Hayes McKenzie, to evaluate and mitigate any potential noise disturbances. Our operations will adhere to strict noise limits, and should the Project be consented, we will regularly monitor noise levels to ensure compliance.
This will have a visual impact – what measures will be taken to seek to mitigate this / to offset this harm?
A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) will be carried out by independent consultants and levels of impacts will be assessment from a number of key viewpoints agreed in consultation with Dumfries and Galloway Council, NatureScot and potentially the local community. Wind2 will also consult with NatureScot to ensure the proposals are appropriately designed in relation to potential visibility from parts of the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area (NSA).
For more information on what a landscape and visual impact assessment is, visit the NatureScot website.
How will the impacts on local wildlife be mitigated?
The Scottish Government outlines within National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) that all development proposals should not only mitigate the impacts on biodiversity, but they should contribute to the enhancement and restoration of biodiversity, including improvements to existing habitats and the connections between them.
Wind2 will deliver a Biodiversity Net Gain across the site as part of the proposals. At this stage of the process, details of how this will be achieved are still being developed. This will be fully assessed by independent consultants and the measures proposed will be outlined within the S36 application to the Energy Consents Unit.
For further information on Biodiversity Net Gain, click here.
How long will the construction period take and how will it be managed?
At this stage we estimate that the construction of the project could take up to two years. A draft Construction Management Plan will be produced as part of the planning application which will outline how this process will be managed. This will be agreed with the relevant authorities ahead of any construction starting on site, should planning permission be granted.
What are the Proposals for Access to the site and how many traffic movements are predicted as part of the construction process?
A detailed appraisal of the traffic and transport impacts of the projects will be prepared by independent transport consultants and the information will be included in the Transport Chapter that will form part of the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Will there be a full-time staff on site once constructed?
Although the Energy Park will operate as its own business with assigned personnel, it is unlikely that there will be full-time staff on site. However, locally based personnel will attend the site intermittently to check operations, site security, and perform ongoing maintenance.
How will the site be secured? If there are cameras, how will these be used?
Whilst the proposals are still being developed, the exact details of the security that will be implemented across the site area are currently unknown. It is most likely that a number of security cameras will be used to secure the solar assets, but these will face directly towards these elements and would not be intended to capture the outside of the site.
Will I receive a discount on my electricity bill if I live close enough to the Lairdmannoch Energy Park?
Given the early stage of the project, the details for any community benefit package are still being developed. It is not unheard of for these packages to include some locally based benefits, such as discounted energy bills, but we are unable to confirm this at this early stage. More information will be provided once it is available.
However, in the long-term, renewable energy projects will have a cumulative effect over time in lowering energy bills as we move away from fossil fuels.
If approved, how much will the developer receive in government funded subsidies?
While subsidies have historically been available for renewable energy projects, these stopped in 2014. As such, there are currently no subsidies available for projects of this nature.
What is the height of the proposed wind turbines and how is this decided?
The wind turbines would be up to 180m. There are number of consideration when deciding on the most appropriate height (to tip) of the turbines including landscape impacts, wildlife impacts (particularly birds) and available wind speeds.
Turbine heights above ground level are defined by either the ‘hub’ height (the ‘hub’ is the central point of the turbine where the blades are connected), and the blade length.
Where appropriate, increasing the hub height and rotor diameter of the turbines allows for access to better wind speeds, an increase in turbine efficiency (i.e., the turbine will produce more ‘clean’ energy over a larger rotor diameter) and has shown to lower the overall cost of wind energy production.
While it may seem counterintuitive, taller turbines are often more cost-effective in the long term. Their greater energy output means that fewer turbines are needed to meet the net zero targets. In addition, using fewer, taller turbines reduces the overall footprint of the project, which helps to mitigate any further impact on local landscapes, wildlife habitats, and ecosystems.
How many wind turbines are being proposed?
A total of up to 9 wind turbines are being proposed for Lairdmannoch Energy Park.
Will the wind turbines have lights on them?
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) require all turbines taller than 150m to be fitted with visible, red aviation lights to ensure the safety of aircraft. As a result, the Lairdmannoch wind turbines will require aviation lighting, although the extent of this lighting is currently unknown.
A nighttime lighting assessment will also be carried out as part of the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment to fully assess potential impacts arising from the lights on the turbines.
Wind2 will undertake a full consultation with the relevant authorities to agree the lighting strategy as part of the planning application.
What is a wind turbine made of?
Wind turbines are made of a variety of materials; however, they are primarily made of steel, fiberglass composites, and specialised alloys.
Steel is typically used for tower construction, gearbox components, and main shafts due to its durability and resilience. Metal alloys are utilised in generator components and various structural elements.
Fiberglass composites are primarily used for wind turbine blades to provide durability and flexibility.
These materials are chosen to ensure durability and efficiency in capturing wind energy while withstanding environmental conditions, and to reduce wider impacts on the environment as much as possible.
Are wind turbine blades recyclable?
Approximately 96% of a wind turbine is made from materials which can be recycled.
Wind turbine blades are made from different materials, however they are most commonly made with fibreglass to ensure strength and durability. Whilst these materials can pose recycling challenges, the industry is committed to working toward more sustainable solutions. For more information on the recyclability of wind turbine blades, visit Can wind turbine blades be recycled? – National Grid 2023.
Does the leading edge of wind turbines erode?
Yes, the leading edge of wind turbine blades can erode over time due to a combination of factors, including environmental conditions and aerodynamic forces exerted on the blades surface. Researchers believe that the erosion is negligible due to the measures undertaken in practice to reduce this as much as possible.
To mitigate leading edge erosion, wind turbine manufacturers and operators employ several strategies such as routine inspections and maintenance to assess the condition of the blades. The blades are also coated with protection materials, such as erosion resistant, non-toxic paint, that reduce the impact of environmental factors and extend the lifespan of the blades.
More information can be found here.
How much waste will be washed into the soil from the wind turbines?
A negligible amount of materials are known to erode from wind turbine blades, however as technology evolves this continues to be minimised and mitigated.
Routine inspections, maintenance, and preventative measures such as coating the blades with non-toxic, erosion resistant paint all contribute to the reduction in the loss of leading-edge materials.
Will the proposed wind turbines cause issues for ospreys, peregrine falcons, golden eagles, red kites, bats, and insects?
A comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be compiled (using independent consultants) which will fully comply with current detailed guidance produced by NatureScot and other relevant statutory consultees. These surveys will address the presence and behaviour of these wildlife species, among others, including their nesting and foraging habits, migration patterns, and any potential interactions with our proposed wind turbines.
The primary objective of the EIA is to thoroughly evaluate any potential adverse impacts on the flora and fauna and the environment and to develop strategies to mitigate and minimize these impacts. We are committed to working in collaboration with our independent environmental consultants, statutory consultees (such as NatureScot and SEPA), local authorities, and research groups to ensure the protection of local wildlife.
How efficient are wind turbines?
Wind turbine efficiency can vary depending on several factors, including the design of the turbine, wind speed, and maintenance.
On average, modern utility-scale wind turbines have a capacity factor of around 25% to 45%. This means they produce electricity at their rated capacity for about a quarter to nearly half of the time.
Who will manufacturer the Lairdmannoch Energy Park wind turbines and where will the manufacture take place?
If granted planning permission, Lairdmannoch Energy Park will conduct a turbine procurement exercise with a variety of turbine manufacturers to ensure that the turbines used at Lairdmannoch meet the specific needs and goals of the project. A number of factors are considered during this process, such as the site location, availability, total power output, cost and environmental impact of the project.
The location of manufacture will be dependent on the outcome of the procurement exercise and the availability of the wind turbines in line with our project deadlines and grid submission date.
How fast do wind turbines turn?
The speed at which wind turbines turn can vary depending on their design, size, and the wind conditions at their location.
A typical range for the rotational speed of the blades on a modern utility-scale wind turbine is between 10 to 20 revolutions per minute (RPM) under normal operating conditions.
Do wind turbines completely off-set their carbon footprint?
Wind turbines are generally considered a low-carbon to carbon-neutral energy source when considering their full lifecycle, from manufacturing to operation, compared to fossil fuel-based power generation.
Whether wind turbines completely offset their carbon footprint depends on various factors, including the specific turbine design, manufacturing processes, location, and the energy mix used during their construction and maintenance.
Lairdmannoch Energy Park will continue to endeavour to avoid and off-set any carbon produced as a result of the proposed development.
Each unit of renewable energy (wind and solar) generated electricity will displace a unit of conventionally generated electricity, therefore reducing emissions. The below table provides a breakdown of the current estimated emissions displaced per annum and over the predicted 40-year lifetime of the project:
Annual (tonnes equivalent)
Lifetime (tonnes equivalent)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
432kg of CO2 per MWh of Fossil fuel* (222,254 Mwh X 432kg) / 1000 = CO2 saving tonnes
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
5.2kg of SO2 per MWh of Fossil fuel** (222,254 Mwh X 5.2kg) / 1000 = SO2 saving tonnes
Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx)
1.9kg of NOx per MWh of Fossil fuel** (222,254 Mwh X 1.9kg) / 1000 = NOx saving tonnes
Is there an option for the community to own a wind turbine?
The Scottish Government are driving for shared community ownership. More information on the Scottish Government’s good practice principals in relation to shared ownership can be found here: Scottish Government Good Practice Principles - Shared Ownership.
Lairdmannoch Energy Park will explore this with those communities that are interested in Shared Ownership. We will welcome these discussions during the consultation period.
For more information on community shared ownership, please visit Local Energy Scotland – Shared Ownership.
Are the solar panels recyclable?
In most cases, up to 99% of a solar panel is recyclable. There are well established processes for this in the UK. For example, companies such as PV Cycle UK have dedicated infrastructure and work closely with producers to ensure compliance with legislation.
You can find out more about panel recycling and the materials used in Everything Under the Sun: The Facts about Solar.
Do the solar panels produce any noise?
The panels themselves do not produce any noise. If the panels are mounted to a tracking frame, then a small amount of noise is emitted by the tracking motors – however this is negligible and not likely to be heard.
The electrical infrastructure associated with solar parks can produce noise. Inverters and transformers will need to be assessed against specific limits as part of the planning application. Again, the noise emitted by this infrastructure is not significant and is generally easy to mitigate by placing inverters away from noise sensitive receptors.
Will the addition of the solar panels affect local flooding?
The installation of solar panels typically has a minimal impact on local flooding. Solar panels are designed to be mounted on structures and elevated above the ground, which allows water to flow freely underneath them. Additionally, solar panels themselves are not known to cause water accumulation or disruption to natural drainage patterns.
A detailed Hydrology or Flood Risk Assessment will be undertaken as part of the planning application. This often includes a desk study review of nearby watercourses and testing of site infiltration rates. If the scheme is deemed to adversely impact the local environment, then mitigation measures will be implemented. These sometimes include drainage channels or modification of the site layout.
Are the solar panels cleaned using chemicals?
Manufacturers typically advise against using harmful chemicals or detergents to clean solar panels. De-ionized water is a common and environmentally friendly choice for cleaning solar panels because it helps prevent damage and minimises the introduction of chemicals into the environment. This approach aligns with best practices for solar panel maintenance and environmental sustainability.
Do the solar panels produce any glint and glare?
Solar panels are primarily designed to absorb light for energy generation rather than reflecting it. However, during the planning application process, an assessment of potential glint and glare impacts will be conducted, taking into account nearby sensitive areas or receptors, such as airports. This assessment ensures that any potential issues are thoroughly considered and mitigated to prevent disruptions or safety hazards.
Where will the solar panels be manufactured?
Solar panels are manufactured in various countries around the world, including several European countries, China, the United States and India.
The choice of manufacturing location often depends on factors like cost-efficiency, access to materials, and market demand.
What happens if a solar panel gets broken? Does the whole row have to be replaced?
If a solar panel gets broken, it does not necessarily mean that the entire row needs to be replaced. Solar panels are typically connected in an array, and they function independently. If one panel in a row is damaged or malfunctions, it can be replaced individually without affecting the performance of the other panels.
Is the efficiency of the panels consistent over time, or will these need to be replaced over the lifetime of the energy park?
The efficiency of solar panels typically degrades slowly over time, but they do not need to be replaced over the lifetime of an energy park. Solar panels are designed to have a long operational life, often ranging from 25 to 30 years.
In some cases, if the efficiency degradation becomes significant or if there are specific warranty conditions, individual panels may be replaced as needed to ensure optimal energy production.
To maintain the performance of the energy park, regular maintenance and monitoring will be conducted.
Why is battery storage needed as part of this development if the energy is being fed directly into the grid?
Battery storage forms an important part of the Scottish Governments 2030 Onshore Wind target and 2045 Net Zero target. Batteries on site will store clean energy to be fed into the grid during periods of peak demand. This helps to ensure a stable and consistent supply of energy, whilst also ensuring that no clean energy is wasted and Scotland’s energy security.
How big are the battery storage units?
Whilst the exact specifications for the battery storage are still in the early stages of development, generally each battery is approximately 17m x 8m. For a 20MW battery storage proposal, there would typically be 8 batteries in two rows of four. Indicative plans for this will be provided as part of the planning application to the Energy Consents Unit and further information on the size and specification will be known at this point.
Does battery storage pose a risk of fire or explosion?
As with any electrical device, there is minimal fire risk associated with the installation and operation of the batteries. In order to manage and mitigate this risk, Energy Park Asset Management includes regular health and safety assessments, including fire inspections (usually weekly, or bi-weekly). Proper installation, regular inspections, and adherence to safety guidelines help mitigate this risk and the batteries would be continually inspected to ensure safety isn’t compromised.
Will the battery storage produce any noise?
There is generally low level ‘humming’ and buzzing from the electrical components and fans within the storage units, however the noise is considered to be negligible.