Plans submitted for Hill of Fare Wind Farm

A Section 36 planning application has been submitted by RES for a 16-turbine wind farm proposal at Hill of Fare, which could create a £150 million boost for the local economy.
Proposed view of the wind farm from Banchory.Proposed view of the wind farm from Banchory.
Proposed view of the wind farm from Banchory.

The project, located approximately 6km north of Banchory, went public in August 2022 and is predicted to deliver £14 million of investment in Aberdeenshire during construction and a further £66 million of economic activity linked to operations and maintenance work, during the wind farm’s operational life.

Furthermore, it has been estimated that approximately £50 million could be paid in business rates to Aberdeenshire Council, supporting vital local services, alongside a proposed community benefit package of over £26 million.

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The proposed Hill of Fare Wind Farm, which has been through detailed site assessment work and extensive public consultation, utilises powerful modern turbines to deliver an installed capacity of 105.6 MW.

If consented, the wind farm would be capable of generating enough clean, low-cost electricity for around 101,000 homes each year or enough electricity to power 169,000 electric cars per annum, representing 18% of the current EV fleet in the UK.

Gavin Shirley, Development Project Manager at RES, said: “We welcome the UK Government’s recent commitment to attracting record levels of investment in renewable energy in the King’s Speech. Projects like Hill of Fare are a key part of that investment pipeline and could deliver millions of pounds of benefit for local businesses and communities for decades to come.

“As part of the plans at Hill of Fare we’re proposing a tailored community benefit package for the local area, which would be worth £528,000 each year or £26.4 million over the project’s lifetime. This package would be agreed with the surrounding communities and could include RES’ unique Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS), which offers an annual discount to the electricity bills of those properties closest to the wind farm, something that has received strong interest from the community.”

The planning submission includes a proposed cultural heritage walking trail involving designated pathways and interpretation boards to link key heritage assets in the local area.

RES has been working with the landowner to explore other potential opportunities to support access and recreation across the site, including potentially renovating the old shooting lodge as a place of shelter and visitor information and creating car-parking facilities for the Hill of Fare.

Onshore wind projects like Hill of Fare, alongside other renewable energy technologies, are the cheapest form of new electricity generation and enhance our energy security.

The clean electricity produced would also support the UK Government meeting its target of a decarbonised electricity system by 2035 and contribute to the Scottish Government’s commitments to 20GW of onshore wind by 2030. These targets are essential for not only tackling climate change but also for supporting a globally competitive economy and creating jobs.

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