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MELVICH WIND ENERGY HUB

Welcome to our website for the Melvich Wind Energy Hub.

At Belltown Power we are committed to working with local communities and stakeholders to responsibly develop renewable energy projects that help to deliver UK and Scottish government climate change targets and ensure a green and sustainable future for generations to come.

The aim of this website is to provide easy access to the latest key project information as well as setting out how you can get involved and share your views. We look forward to hearing from you.

Show Your Stripes - Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading) – Just Scotland
Show Your Stripes - Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading) – Just Scotland

The Climate Crisis

We are facing an unprecedented global climate crisis caused by the use of fossil fuels to power our societies. In the past 50 years weather induced disasters have increased 5-fold. [1]

Necessary Actions

CO2 ppm have risen by 28% in the past 50 years.[2] We need to urgently cut greenhouse gas emissions to prevent irreversible temperature rises and nature loss. As electrification of transport and heating continues our demand for electricity will rise. It is vital we meet this increase, and existing demand, from renewable sources.

Project Contribution

Melvich Wind Energy Hub has the potential to make a sizeable contribution to the decarbonisation of our electricity system and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Stats: The project could produce enough energy to power 46,145 homes every year [3].

This project is an opportunity for your community to contribute to tackling climate change in a significant way through hosting and part-owning a modern wind energy hub.

 

“We must go into emergency mode against the climate crisis. We need an avalanche of action.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

"If we don't act now, it'll be too late. Every day that goes by in which we don't do something about it is a day wasted,"

Sir David Attenborough

 

  1. WMO, Weather-related disasters
  2. Statista, Historic average carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, Ian Tiseo
  3. RenewableUK, Statistics explained
Turbines and moth

Project Proposal

The site is located south west of the village of Melvich in Sutherland. It is currently an area of open moorland and common grazing.

Belltown Power’s Project Team are working closely with relevant specialists in their field to carry out extensive site surveys and site assessments. This survey data will help refine the opportunity which we will then consult on throughout 2022 as part of Scoping, with an anticipated planning application in 2023 and a view to start construction in 2025. The current layout comprises 13 turbines up to 149.9m tip height. These, together with an energy storage facility and habitat enhancements, collectively make up the Wind Energy Hub. The Scoping Report and all the associated documents can be viewed on the Scottish Government's Energy Consents Unit website. Reference ECU00004514

Proposal map

Virtual exhibition

Please click here to enter our virtual exhibition where you can find more about the latest proposal. Should you have any questions please see how you can get involved below.

What’s next...

We welcome all feedback so we can take your views on board as we continue to develop our proposal. There will be a further consultation event later this year, where we will present our developed plans ahead of submitting an application for consent, to Scottish Ministers, most likely in 2023.

Timeline

13/14 Jun 22

First Consultation Events

Jun – Dec 22

Preparation of Planning Submission

Oct - Nov (Dates TBC)

Second Consultation Events

Early 23

Target Planning Submission

Q2 24 – Q4 24

Expected Planning Determination

Q1 25 - Q2 25

Start Construction Target

H2 26

Target Commercial Operation Date

Community

Community – groundbreaking ownership offering

Community Ownership

At Belltown Power we fundamentally believe that renewable energy projects should benefit the communities that host them. Communities local to the Melvich Wind Energy Hub will benefit through our groundbreaking community ownership scheme.

We want to go beyond simply offering the opportunity for local investment into our projects and actually take demonstrable steps to enable the uptake of community ownership in a way that benefits everyone.

Belltown’s Community Ownership scheme includes:

  • Giving local community organisations 1% of the equity in the project for free.

  • Enabling them to buy a further 4% of the equity at cost once the project is operational.

  • Offering them as much further ownership as they want to take at market value (up to a maximum 49% share of equity).

Community Benefit

In addition to this attractive ownership offering, we are committed to providing £5,000/MW (index linked) Community Benefit for the lifetime of the project. For Melvich this represents £312,000 of community benefit each year for 40 years, a total of £12.4 million over the lifetime of the project*.

We can be flexible as to when and how the community receives this funding and can front load some, or all of this, to best suit the community's needs. Organisations like Foundation Scotland and Local Energy Scotland can advise and assist communities to decide how best to use these funds to maximise benefit locally. Our flexible structure means this could include:

  • buying additional ownership of Melvich Wind Energy Hub to achieve higher returns over the operational life

  • offering discounted energy bills to local residents during the operational life  of the wind farm and

  • funding local initiatives with front loaded funding to allow support for larger projects

We want to hear your views on how Melvich Wind Energy Hub can best support your community.

 

*the real sum will be greater as community benefit is index linked to CPI.

Case Study

Near to our Tirgwynt site in Powys, Wales the Carno Primary School faced closure due to the condition of temporary buildings they were using. Due to our flexible community benefit offering we were able to substitute some of the annual payments with a larger, upfront payment which enabled the construction of a new school building allowing the local school to continue to serve the community for future generations.

Education - inspiring the next generation

We believe passionately in education and have been running the Belltown Education Programme since 2015 with the aim of inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists who will  help tackle the climate emergency.

Local Environment

Everyone at Belltown Power is involved in the renewable energy industry through a desire to tackle the climate crisis. In addition to powering over 46,145 homes each year and saving some 76,098 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year for the 40-year life time of the project* we will implement a comprehensive and tailored Habitat Management Plan to ensure that the Melvich Wind Energy Hub delivers a net ecological benefit through careful habitat design, creation and management.

* Figures based on a wind energy hub comprising 13 turbines at 4.8MW for 40 years and recognised assumptions stated here.

Get involved & give your feedback

At Belltown Power, we recognise a fundamental part of good project development is early consultation to ensure local communities and stakeholders are given the opportunity to provide feedback and are kept informed of a project’s progress.

As part of this consultation process, we are excited to share the latest project information for the Melvich Wind Energy Hub. This first exhibition will run from 06 to 25 June (see the Virtual Exhibition above) and we look forward to engaging with any questions and feedback you may have about the project.

Do please ask any questions, provide feedback via our feedback form, register if you're a local business or request a call back if you have a specific question. You can also email the team at melvich@belltownpower.com

Public Exhibitions

We would like to invite you to join us in-person and meet the team at either

  • Strathy Village Hall – Monday 13 June: 2 – 7pm

  • Halladale Village Hall – Tuesday 14 June: 10 – 2pm

Come join us at one of these events and see how your community can contribute to tackling climate change in a significant way through hosting and part-owning a modern wind energy hub.

Register

You can register as a local supplier, or request a call back from one of our team if you have a specific question or concern. However, please use the Feedback Form to give your feedback on the exhibition, the project and your ideas for community benefit.

Register

Opportunities for Local businesses and Suppliers

Opportunities for Local businesses and Suppliers

Belltown Power is committed to providing material benefit to the communities that host them. To ensure this happens we will use local supply chain where they are within 10% of the best quote tendered andmeet the project’s HSEQ requirements.

There are a wide range of services and suppliers required to build and operate a wind farm including but not limited to

  • construction, drainage and fencing contractors

  • materials suppliers and building merchants

  • plant hire and security

  • fuel providers and waste management and

  • local hospitality providers and car hire

To understand the full range of opportunities available please register on our supplier database and we will get in touch.

Meet the Buyer

In due course we will be holding “Meet the Buyer” events where you can meet the project team, we can learn more about your business and we can discuss opportunities to work together.

If you believe you can supply our development or simply want to understand more we would love to hear from you. All you need to do is register on the form below, or email us at melvich@belltownpower.com and one of our team will get back to you. 

News

Local residents are being invited to view plans for a new Wind Energy Hub near Melvich in Sutherland. The plans from Belltown Power will be on display for two days in mid-June and the company are keen to get feedback from local people.

The Belltown team will be on hand at the two-day public exhibition to answer any questions local residents may have and to gather views on the proposal.

Commenting on the consultation, Joel Hutchinson, Head of Development at Belltown Power said; “This is our first consultation event and we want to hear what local residents think of our plans for the Melvich development. We’re keen to engage with as many local folk as we can so we are holding these exhibitions face to face, as well as making the exhibition available online.

“We’ve also written to over 1000 households around the development site with details of the plans and a freepost, feedback form so if they cannot attend they can still send us their views.”

Belltown Power submitted a Scoping Report to the Scottish Government in June of this year. The current proposal consists of up to 13 turbines across the site, enough to produce over 60MW of clean energy.

Belltown has committed to five thousand pounds of community benefit per megawatt installed, which could mean over £310,000 per year for the local community. This could be used to fund local initiatives, help towards local electricity bills or be used to increase the community’s ownership in the wind farm.

Commenting further Joel Hutchinson said; “We really want to talk to residents about our ground-breaking community ownership package, this gives communities a 1% stake for free. Local communities may also wish to front load community benefits funds to increase the community’s investment in the project, bringing tangible benefits to the heart of the community.”  

The online, virtual exhibition runs from 6 June to the 25 June and shows all the exhibition panels and boards. Residents can also complete an online feedback form. For more information visit  www.belltownpower.com/uk/melvich/

The in-person, public exhibitions will be held on Monday 13 June and Tuesday 14 June,

Monday 13 June, Strathy Hall, 2 – 7pm

Tuesday 14 June, Halladale Hall, 10am – 2pm

A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who turned out at the public exhibitions we held at Strathy and Halladale. We had around 25 people drop in over the two days.

It was very useful for the team to meet local people and to hear your views and to get your ideas and suggestions for the community benefit.

We’d also like to thank all of you who have already taken the trouble to send in your Feedback questionnaires in the post: we are busy logging and analysing all of these.

There will be follow up conversations on all aspects of the project with community representatives over the summer. We hope to hold a second public exhibition this autumn to present more detailed information on certain elements of the proposed wind farm outside Melvich.

If you were unable to attend, you’ll find the exhibition online, on the website here and feedback is open until 25th June.

Meanwhile if you have any specific questions or issues you’d like to raise with the team please email melvich@belltownpower.com.