PLANS for a new wind farm in the Scottish Borders have been submitted to the Scottish Government for approval.
The proposed Teviot Wind Farm would be sited five-miles south of Hawick and includes plans for a solar array and battery storage.
Muirhall Energy submitted the application and the final plans for the project are for 62 turbines, down from 75 in the original layout.
A number of turbines were removed in response to feedback from local residents, community groups and consultees.
If consent is granted, Muirhall Energy say they will work with community groups to achieve Community Shared Ownership of up to 10% of the wind farm, which could see local groups become the biggest community investors in renewable energy anywhere in the UK.
Muirhall say they will also introduce the model which has successfully delivered community shared ownership at Crossdykes Wind Farm near Langholm, where the community now owns a 5% stake in the wind farm, greatly increasing the annual income generated for the community.
In addition to the details on turbines and solar panels, the application also includes an innovative Habitat Enhancement Plan, which proposes to increase public access to the site, the restoration of significant areas of peatland, and planting of over 65 hectares of native woodland.
The Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit will shortly publish the full application and invite comments from the general public, community and representative groups, and also from statutory consultees.
Jamie Leslie, Project Manager, said: “The project would make a significant contribution to the country’s efforts to increase energy security and to move away from the use of fossil fuels for power, heat and transport.
“It would also support what we believe to be the largest community fund of its type anywhere in the UK, with local groups able to access an annual funding stream of £2.8 million over the project’s 40-year lifespan. We believe that this could be transformative for the local area, and support local initiatives in areas as diverse as vocational training, tourism marketing, local facilities and environmental improvements.
“We really value the level of engagement we have with local residents and community groups, and have worked hard to reflect people’s suggestions wherever we could.
“We want to continue that dialogue and now start to assess the appetite of local communities to take an ownership stake in the project in order to generate an additional revenue stream to invest in the local area.
“We hope that people will see the benefit in our proposals and get behind the project, and continue to bring forward further suggestions on how we can maximise the benefits to the local area from our proposals.”
Muirhall Energy’s new South of Scotland office will provide a point of contact for any enquiries from local residents about the Teviot Wind Farm proposals and the company’s other renewables projects in the area, as well as serving as a base for local members of its growing team.