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Holm & Hollymill Farms wind farm proposal

Holm and Hollymill Farms Holm and Hollymill Farms are situated close to the village of King Edward in Northern Aberdeenshire, just off the A947.

FRASERBURGH BUCKIE

BANFF

MACDUFF

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Craigston Castle, located on the 400 hectare estate of which Holm Farm is a part, was built in 1604 by Sir John Urquhart and is still home to his descendants. A working farm, Holm grows a mix of arable crops with the remaining land grazed by sheep and its award-winning Highland cattle. To help ensure both Holm and Hollymill remain working farms and provide a livelihood for future generations it is paramount that the landowners find the right opportunities to diversify. Securing a new income stream is important; an appropriate project is essential. Diversification projects must be sustainable in the long term, they must work with and complement a farm’s other activities and they should bring benefits to the local community. It is from these three principles that the UK’s first commercial wind farm in Delabole, Cornwall (owned and operated by Good Energy and rented from a local farmer) grew. The Urquharts also have an eco-development planned in the grounds of the castle, created with the help of award-winning architects. The eco-development is part of the wider plan for the estate to deliver a destination attraction and tourism accommodation, the need for which has been identified by the Turriff Tourism Group and the Aberdeenshire structure plan. The income from this venture will be invested in the maintenance and repair of all the listed buildings on the estate.

A98 A96

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A97 TURRIFF

KEITH

A947 HUNTLY

The facility will provide opportunities for locals as well as others to have a venue for events. There will be job opportunities for a manager, and housekeeping staff and the influx of tourists will bring financial benefits to the area. The eco-development will use local skilled craftsmen and will be of the highest sustainable standards: heated by a biomass boiler, with reed based sewage systems, high levels of breathable insulation, thermal mass and passive ventilation. The project will act as an exemplar model of how historic buildings can be restored in as an ecological way where possible. Landowner William Urquhart says: ‘Our vision is green and social. We want to see a sustainable and vibrant place that provides jobs and learning opportunities for locals and is a destination which acts as a draw to bring tourists to the Banffshire coastal area.’

Why wind in Scotland? Scotland is the windiest country in Europe and its Highland and Islands have the best wind resources in the whole of the UK. Unsurprisingly, the Scottish government is keen to capitalise on this fantastic resource, as well as develop other renewable technologies in the regions where the resources are abundant.

80% by 2020. The majority of this will come from wind power. The programme is likely to bring significant benefit to Scotland’s energy security and energy prices. We want the wind farm at Holm and Hollymill to contribute to this fantastic ambition. Although it is small, it is far from insignificant.

Scotland had over 3.5GW of installed renewable technologies by the end of 2009 with 2GW being contributed by onshore wind. The country is also home to the UK’s largest wind farm (322MW) located in Whitelee, East Renfrewshire.

“Scotland is ideally placed to help lead the renewables revolution and taking account of the levels of planned investment over the next decade, I believe it is now time to aim higher and to go further. It has also been estimated that 60,000 new green jobs could be created by 2020 in low carbon industries.”

Targets have been set to be generating 31% of Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2011 and

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond in 2010.

Options for development Good Energy’s approach to development means that we like to offer people living locally a chance to input into our proposals at an early stage and wherever possible, feed your thoughts into our site layout designs. Holm and Hollymill Farm will be no different. The site design, including the make and model of the turbines will be determined by examining the environmental, technical and economic considerations, supported by input from the local people. The final decision could be either one of the two options illustrated, or a combination of them both.

Option 1: Four 800kW turbines

Option 2: Three 2.3MW turbines

Turbine capacity: 800kw Rotor diameter: 48m Hub height: 55.6m

Turbine capacity:2.3MW Rotor diameter: 71m Hub height: 64m

Tip height: 79.6m Energy production: 9,538MWh

Tip height: 99.5m Energy production: 19,247MWh

Indicative view of the site from north of Newton of Mountblairy

Indicative view of the site from north of Newton of Mountblairy

© Crown copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Licence number 0100031673

© Crown copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Licence number 0100031673

Together we can change the way the UK generates and uses energy. For good.

goodenergy.co.uk

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Holm & Hollymill Farms wind farm proposal

Good Energy We believe the UK can achieve a future powered purely by renewables by 2050. Achieving this requires change across the entire energy network – from windy hilltop to a finger on a light switch. That’s why, as well as supplying 100% renewable electricity and supporting a community of over 3,000 independent renewable generators, we’re investing in new renewable capacity for the country. Our wind farm at Delabole, North Cornwall was the first in a pipeline of new Good Energy wind farm developments; we’re planning to add over 50MW of new capacity in the next five years – enough to power all the homes in a town the size of Glenrothes.

Our approach to development As an innovator in the industry, we aim to set the standard for best practice in renewable energy generation development and believe our unique combination of experience, commitment to renewables and project approach makes us the best partner for land owners. We undertake thorough environmental assessments and community engagement is at the core of every project. We want to ensure that our developments have as little impact on the surrounding ecological and socio-economic environments as possible.

The local community Public consultations are just a small part of the process of engaging with the people local to the project. Exhibitions such as the one you see here, with written materials, and the opportunity to talk to the Good Energy team, are designed to provide as much information as possible about the proposed development. Good Energy prides itself on being a constant throughout the wind farm’s life: from conception to construction and beyond. We will have a continued presence that will not only manage the running of the wind farm, but also act as a contact point for the community that lives near the wind farm. Good Energy also wants to know what you think about the development, and where possible we can offer turbine layout variations, giving local residents the opportunity to voice which option they would prefer.

Your views matter Let us know your thoughts on what benefits you would like to see. Please put a sticker against the option you prefer on the Your views matter panel.

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Together we can change the way the UK generates and uses energy. For good.

goodenergy.co.uk


Holm & Hollymill Farms wind farm proposal

Climate change The earth’s climate changes naturally in response to shifts in the global balance of energy. Any process that causes these adjustments – such as a volcanic eruption, cyclical change in solar activity or a shift in ocean currents – could be described as a cause of climate change. Today, however, the term is most commonly associated with man-made climate change. There is now clear evidence and overwhelming scientific consensus, that climate change is a result of change in the consistency of the atmosphere surrounding our planet. Some of the impacts are already becoming apparent. Since 1998, in the UK alone, the Met office has documented the 10 warmest years since records began. The Environment Agency estimates that by 2080 the country’s annual economic damage from flooding could increase from £1 billion to between £15 and £21 billion.

Solutions It’s not too late to change things. The UK has a binding target to meet by 2020; to produce 15% of its energy from renewable sources. Good Energy believes we can not only meet these targets, but exceed them and that the UK can be 100% renewable by 2050. Achieving this requires a major shift in our approach to energy.

More generally, the planet has seen fluctuating weather patterns, rising sea levels, increased drought and extinction of species.

“Our vision of the future looks very different to what we see today: energy companies will be transformed from leviathans to enablers and, maybe, by 2050, they will all look like Good Energy.”

What’s causing it?

Good Energy CEO and Founder, Juliet Davenport

The earth’s atmosphere contains gases that trap heat near the surface. This ‘greenhouse effect’ is a natural process and is what keeps the planet’s temperature at a habitable level. However, as human activity increases the concentration of these gases and the heat which they trap causes our climate to change unnaturally.

At Good Energy, we want to build a new type of system. That’s why all our electricity is renewable, generated by a growing community of over 3,000 independent, local suppliers across the country and why we are investing in small to medium size wind projects.

The levels of these gases in the earth’s atmosphere are higher than it has been at any time in the last 800,000 years.

Good Energy is also continuing to raise awareness about climate change, to support renewable energy schemes and to lobby government to introduce practical solutions.

The graph below shows the sources of man-made greenhouse gas emissions1.

Together, we can change the way the UK generates and uses energy. For good.

Worldwide, burning fossil fuels to supply our energy needs – to heat our homes, grow our food and power our transport – contributes to almost three quarters of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is an energy problem.

UK greenhouse gas emissions by sector; DECC DUKE 3%

Waste

10% Land use 13%

“Climate change is the definition of a global threat. A failure to act in time will affect us all. This is the pre-eminent challenge in global governance. If we cannot deal collectively with such a threat to our very existence as a species on this planet, we are lost.” Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, September 2010

Agriculture

74% Energy demand & transport

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Adapted from Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES data) from DECC

Together we can change the way the UK generates and uses energy. For good.

goodenergy.co.uk

3


Holm & Hollymill Farms wind farm proposal

What will you see and hear? Like many large machines, commercial scale wind turbines impact what is seen and heard within the environment they are situated in. Minimising these effects is a priority in every one of Good Energy’s development projects.

Sight The most efficient wind turbines have blades that turn high above the ground. This helps to avoid low level turbulence and to catch the stronger, cleaner wind. In most cases, the higher the turbine the more efficient it is but also the more visible it becomes. We use computer analysis techniques to generate Zones of Theoretical Visibility (ZTV’s) in order to illustrate how they will look. Because it only examines the topography of the land, the analysis doesn’t take into account the effect of objects such as

Option 1: Four 800kW turbines

trees, hedges and buildings that may further obscure the view of the turbines. Full landscape and visual assessments will also be carried out. These include photomontages to illustrate how the wind farm will look from several different viewpoints. The diagrams below show where the tips of the turbines are visible from in both proposed site layouts.

Option 2: Three 2.3MW turbines

How wind turbines are measured Tip height

Hub height

© Crown copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Licence number 0100031673

© Crown copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Licence number 0100031673

Sound Large pieces of machinery that have moving parts will create some noise, and wind turbines are no exception. However, thanks to improvements in their design – direct drive or gearless turbines – and refinements to the blade shape, mechanical sounds are minimal. The only real noise emitted from today’s turbines is a “swoosh” when the blades pass the tower in certain wind speeds. A noise guideline used by several Scottish local authorities including Aberdeenshire offers clarification of an acceptable level of noise. Noise predictions will be carried out by a specialist consultancy, whose collected data will form part of the

Environmental Statement that Good Energy will submit as part of our planning application. When referring to one of Good Energy’s development projects, Lord Teverson1 in the House of Lords said: ‘I walked around Delabole Wind Farm and I cannot remember even hearing the noise. I am sure that there are sometimes noise issues, but I suggest that noble lords stand by wind turbines to hear what noise there is. It is extremely low, it is far less than a main road or railway. On many occasions it is not particularly perceptible.’ 1

Lord Teverson 2011 ‘Wind Turbines (minimum distance from residential premises) bill 10 June’

Noise perimeter maps These images show the possible noise impacts of the two development options.

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Option 1: Four 800kW turbines

Option 2: Three 2.3MW turbines

© Crown copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Licence number 0100031673

© Crown copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Licence number 0100031673

Together we can change the way the UK generates and uses energy. For good.

goodenergy.co.uk


Holm & Hollymill Farms wind farm proposal

Wildlife Good Energy believes it is vital that thorough environmental studies are carried out to assess the potential impact on local wildlife before any development goes ahead. These studies will continue throughout the project, ensuring best practice and the advice of experts is closely followed at all times.

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As part of the planning process Good Energy will record wildlife activity in and around the site, ensuring that any potential impacts are properly assessed. We will also work with landowners and ecological specialists to ensure any potential impact is properly mitigated and examine how we could improve the site to a standard over and above what it is today through initiatives like habitat enhancement. Contractors will be commissioned to undertake the relevant environmental assessments. The aim is to document and evaluate the ecological interest of the area which includes noting potential impacts that the proposed works may have and provide recommendations to mitigate these impacts, in accordance with ‘Guidelines for Ecological Impact Assessment’ (IEMM 2006). Despite popular misconceptions, wind turbines are responsible for less than 0.01% of avian mortality caused by humans. By far the largest causes of deaths include standing buildings and power lines, with the journal Nature concluding that the biggest threat to birds in the UK is climate change. Livestock are able to graze happily alongside wind turbines and are generally not disturbed by them.

Your views matter Let us know your thoughts on what benefits you would like to see. Please put a sticker against the option you prefer on the Your views matter panel.

Together we can change the way the UK generates and uses energy. For good.

goodenergy.co.uk

5


Holm & Hollymill Farms wind farm proposal

Benefits for the local area Increasing the connection between people and the energy they use is vital to achieving a 100% renewable future. When we understand more about how our energy is produced, we will value it more and use it less. Good Energy wants to ensure that those living close to our projects benefit from them, and feel connected to them. To achieve this we’re looking to develop a number of initiatives:

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A community fund When the development has been completed and is generating energy, Good Energy will provide an annual fund that will deliver financial support to local projects. We will recommend that the community takes responsibility for the funds and determines how best to spend the money. The total amount available will depend on the final size of the development.

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A community bond Good Energy believes that people living close to a wind farm should be given the opportunity to invest in the project and share in the benefits of producing renewable energy. We feel it is important that investing in a project like this is not exclusive and that people, no matter what their income, can afford to own a piece of the wind farm. This is why we are looking at making it possible to invest with as little as five pounds. We are really interested to know more about how you would like to invest or own a piece of your local wind farm. Please fill in one of our questionnaires or talk to one of the Good Energy team about options for investment.

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A local electricity tariff As an energy supply company and not just a wind farm developer we are in a privileged position and can create an opportunity for you to buy the electricity generated by your local wind farm from Good Energy. If we deliver this, we will aim to fix the price we charge for the electricity for a long period. Meaning residents will know what their energy bills will be in the coming years. Please fill in one of our questionnaires to give us your views on which local benefits you would like to see.

Your views matter Let us know your thoughts on what benefits you would like to see. Please put a sticker against the option you prefer on the Your views matter panel.

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Together we can change the way the UK generates and uses energy. For good.

goodenergy.co.uk


Holm & Hollymill Farms wind farm proposal

Construction Once construction starts, we would expect a project of this scale to take around six months to complete. However, weather conditions may influence this. These are the steps that you can expect to see:

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Groundworks

Prior to the turbines being installed, ground works including foundations, access tracks, temporary compounds for construction workers and electrical infrastructure, will all be completed.

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Transportation

Delivery of the turbines to the site will be carried out by a specialist transportation firm with considerable experience across the UK. A dry run will have been done first to establish any problem areas and identify suitable solutions.

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Environmental management

As part of our work to assess the impact of developing the site, we will commission a detailed Environmental Management Plan. It will meet international standards and will be followed for the duration of the construction period. Good Energy always seeks to go above and beyond this wherever possible to ensure the project’s environmental impact is at a minimum.

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Turbine installation

Depending on the size of the generator, around six deliveries will be needed per wind turbine. Additional deliveries will be required for various other civil and electrical works. The amount of traffic to the site will be specified in detail in our planning application, helping to inform the planning department’s decision and give people an idea of what they may expect.

As part of our commitment to the local community and sustainable practice, where possible we look to use local resources and contractors. If you think you have relevant construction experience and are interested in working on this project, please contact us with details of the service you can offer and we will be happy to consider you for appropriate contracts.

Together we can change the way the UK generates and uses energy. For good.

goodenergy.co.uk

7


Holm & Hollymill Farms wind farm proposal

Common questions about wind farms Courtesy of ŠCentre for Sustainable Energy

Wind turbines and property prices

Impact of wind farms on property prices within 20km

It is often asked whether property prices will fall as a result of having a wind farm nearby. However, according to research by the Scottish Executive in 2003 the concern is largely unfounded. The research looked at 10 major wind farm sites across the region, assessing their impact on nearby residents. It was an extensive study, covering a surrounding zone of 20km, and took into account how close to the wind farms residents lived. The results illustrated in the chart to the right clearly indicate that only a small minority felt that a wind farm in their local area had a negative impact. Further studies have been carried out in Cornwall using actual selling prices. Initial data from these areas show no correlation between the presence of a wind farm and house prices in the immediate surroundings (within five miles).

7% Negative impact on area 20% Positive impact on area 73% No impact either way

Shadow flicker Shadow flicker is the flickering effect caused when rotating wind turbine blades periodically cast shadows. This is most apparent through constrained openings such as windows and doors. However, this is a rare occurrence which only happens in very specific conditions. In the unlikely event of shadow flicker, there are options available to the developer to mitigate the effect, such as planting a screen of trees or programming certain turbines to be switched off at times when shadow flicker may happen.

What is the energy payback time of a wind turbine? The amount of energy (and CO2 emissions) involved in the manufacture, construction and operation of a wind farm is often raised as an argument against wind turbines. In a study published in the journal ‘Renewable Energy’, the energy return on investment (ratio: energy generated/energy required) was analysed. It was concluded that the average wind farm is expected to generate 20-25 times more energy in its lifetime than is required in building and running it.

Wind turbines and efficiency The UK continues to offer the best wind resource in Europe and the power output from a wind farm can be calculated with considerable accuracy. Wind turbines on average produce electricity 80-85% of the time. In comparison to non-renewable sources, levels of efficiency of a wind turbine can be considered very good as they are able to turn a free resource (wind) into electricity without the heat loss that is experienced in fossil fuel fired plants. Juliet Davenport, CEO of Good Energy, with Martin and Peter Edwards, the founders of Delabole wind farm, Cornwall

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Together we can change the way the UK generates and uses energy. For good.

goodenergy.co.uk


Holm & Hollymill Farms wind farm development