The planning application for Windy Standard was passed unanimously by Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council in November 1995 and released by the Secretary of State in March 1996. Construction
commenced in the same month and the wind farm came on-line in November 1996. The cost was about 17.5 million.
The 21.6 MW wind farm consists of 36 turbines, each of 600 kW rating, made by Nordtank A/S. The wind
farm covers an area of 350 ha, 500-680 m above sea level. The turbines are about 200 m apart and each occupy a footprint of around 18 m2 (the wind farm will cover about 1% of the site). Each turbine is 35 m high to the
centre of the hub with a three-bladed rotor of 37 m diameter. They start to generate electricity automatically when the wind speed reaches 5 m/s and achieve maximum output at around 15 m/s . They shut down when the wind
speed exceeds 25 m/s.
Power output from the turbines is delivered by underground cables to a substation which is in an old quarry in the forest. From the substation the power is carried by a 33 kV line to
existing Scottish Power overhead lines connecting to the local electricity grid network for distribution. At 0.04 pounds sterling per unit, the electricity produced by Windy Standard is comparable to that supplied by
conventional power stations.
The area around the wind farm is very sparsely populated. It has no national or local designation for nature conservation, but is within an agricultural
designation the Western Southern Uplands Environmentally Sensitive Area. The developers therefore approached Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council at an early stage and consulted widely to ensure that the ecology of
the site was preserved. Consultees included: Scottish Natural Heritage; Solway River Purification Board; the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; Carsphairn Community Council and New Cumnock Community Council.
In keeping with its "good neighbour" policies, and by way of responding positively to local community needs, National Wind Power and Fred.Olsen have made available low interest loans at Carsphairn which
have enabled the local community to buy the village shop and sub post office the only such facility within 16 km. Community funds elsewhere have been used to fund various local groups and organisations including
equipment for schools, repairs to community buildings, local festivals and shows.
Last year, UK wind farms produced over 500 million kWh of clean electricity; this year the current 38
operational wind farms are expected to produce over 750 million kWh which will offset some 640,000 tonnes of CO2. Windy Standard alone will offset the release of up to 70,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
For more information contact the CADDET UK National Team in Oxfordshire.