This is a long running proposal which RSPB Scotland first engaged with in 2012.
Coriolis Energy Ltd submitted an application for a 26 turbine wind farm, each just under 150m in height, in 2018. The site lies in the south-west of Aberdeenshire, near the Angus Council boundary and is located on the Glendye Estate.
We raised an objection to the application in 2019 due to the lack of information to allow the proper assessment of impacts on birds, such as golden eagle and white-tailed eagle. We also raised concerns over impacts on peat, which would be damaged and removed during construction.
New information was submitted by the applicant in 2020. This showed that the windfarm would be likely cause the deaths of a high number of birds due to collisions, when birds fly into moving blades. Having considered this new information, we have maintained our objection due to the high collision risk for red kite, white-tailed eagle and golden eagle. We also think that the applicant has not properly considered the effects that the loss of these individual birds could have on the species populations.
More information was submitted in July 2021, which included modelling of the likely impacts on golden eagle and white-tailed populations and assessment of the suitability of the site for golden eagles ranges. We have maintained our objection.
The applicant’s collision risk modelling predicts the windfarm would kill around 39 red kites, 23 golden eagles and 10 white-tailed eagles over its 30 year lifetime. From their population modelling, we have calculated that this would result in the regional population of golden eagle being 8-15% lower than it would be in the absence of the windfarm and the local white-tailed eagle population being 25% lower.
RSPB Scotland supports the development of renewable energy, which is needed as part of the move to net-zero, and the urgent need to tackle climate change. But windfarms must be carefully located and designed. This is not a good location for a windfarm, and renewable energy targets can be achieved using alternative sites.