Hydroelectricity scheme receives consent

Consent under the electricity act has been given by the Scottish Ministers for a hydroelectric station including two reservoirs, on the site of a former surface coal mine in south west Scotland.

No public objection had been made to the proposal and national policy identified a need for hydroelectric installations to support renewable energy generation.

The main landscape concern related to a reservoir dam as the most visually prominent feature. The one-kilometre long dam would introduce a definite man-made, straight-edge element into an undulating and unspoilt moorland valley landscape. Scottish ministers were, however, satisfied by mitigation measures, which included changes in design and planting on part of the dam and lower slopes, and the landscape had no special designation.

Although the project would take up to five years to construct and involve blasting, rock excavation and construction traffic movements, and require around 327 construction workers, it was held the impact on local communities from noise and other effects could be suitable mitigated.

Head of Energy Consents: Francis Pacitti

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