Work kicks off on Dumfries and Galloway wind farm to power tens of thousands of homes

Work has started on a wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway that could provide sufficient power for an estimated 70,000 homes.

Red Rock Power said first generation at Benbrack onshore wind farm was anticipated in spring 2024, with full commercial operation of the 67-megawatt (MW) capacity project expected later that summer. Benbrack is the first construction project under the company’s management, marking a “momentous step forward” for the business as it grows its wind portfolio and cements its position in the Scottish industry.

The development has now finalised contracts with Jones Bros for the supporting components of the wind farm following an initial preferred supplier agreement, while Natural Power will oversee activity as construction management service provider. Vestas, the wind farm’s turbine contractor, is expected to start mobilising to site in early 2024.

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Jamie Grant, Benbrack’s project director, said: “We’ve been driving towards the start of construction since we acquired Benbrack early last year, so we’re excited to get started and be a step closer to generating clean energy. We’ll be working closely with our key contractors and the local supply chain to deliver the wind farm quickly and with minimum disruption to the local area.”

Guy Madgwick, Red Rock Power’s chief executive, said: “As the first wind farm under Red Rock Power’s management to move into construction, Benbrack signifies our continued commitment to the Scottish market and the expansion of our wind business. Onshore wind remains central to our long-term vision. We look forward to seeing Benbrack come to fruition while we consider future opportunities,” he added.

The Benbrack project was acquired by Red Rock Power in February 2021. The wind farm site sits just south of the East Ayrshire border, some six kilometres north of Carsphairn and east of the A713. It will consist of 15 turbines which have a maximum tip height of 149m and a total generation capacity of 67MW, though there is scope within the consents to potentially increase this.

Scotland has seen a flurry of activity in the onshore and offshore wind farm sectors in recent years. Last month, for example, an onshore wind farm development that will power some 21,000 homes was given the green light by South Lanarkshire Council. Banks Renewables’ planning application to erect turbines at Mill Rig wind farm, near Darvel in East Ayrshire, has now been rubber-stamped and is on course to become operational within three years. The six powerful wind turbines planned for Mill Rig will provide an installed generation capacity of around 36MW - enough to meet the electricity needs of all the households in a town around the size of East Kilbride.

This summer, construction of a vast wind farm that will power 170,000 homes achieved a key milestone. Vattenfall’s South Kyle Wind Farm is powering ahead with the installation of the project’s first wind turbine. Turbine E02 - located in the southern part of the wind farm - becomes the first of 50 turbines to be assembled and installed on site. Located in East Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway, close to the villages of New Cumnock, Dalmellington and Carsphairn, South Kyle is Vattenfall’s largest onshore development in the UK.

Jonathan Maitland, project manager and Michaela Baldock, site engineer from Jones Bros, with Gillies Munro, development engineer from Red Rock Power, on site.

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