Elgin Energy has received planning permission for a 50 MW solar PV project at Milltown Airfield near Elgin in Moray, which, when completed, will be the largest solar PV project in Scotland to date.
Courtesy of Elgin Energy
The Milltown Airfield project is the first solar development approved by the Energy Consents Unit (ECU) of the Scottish Government which rules on projects of 50 MW or greater in output. The development will occupy approximately 115 hectares of a former RAF Airfield on land owned by the Innes Estate. The airfield was decommissioned in the 1970s and since then has been used for a variety of activities including storage, HGV testing and sheep grazing. The site will continue to be used for sheep grazing once construction is complete.
“This large-scale project is the fruition of the commitment and vision between Elgin Energy, Innes Estate, Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution, National Grid, Savills and the rest of our professional support team” said Ronan Kilduff, Managing Director, Elgin Energy. “The ECU, Moray Council and all parties involved in the planning process have been highly engaging and we are delighted with this outcome which is the culmination of almost six years preparatory work. We would hope to begin developing this project in the early 2020s. Elgin Energy is continuing to invest in Scottish solar and across the UK to accelerate the transition to a low carbon, secure and affordable UK energy system.”
Edward Tennant of Innes Estate added that the project is an exciting new chapter for the estate, which has grown to cover a wide diversity of businesses from farming and forestry to weddings and corporate entertainment. The new project will allow the estate to diversify its activities even further and also enable it to re-invest in one of Morayshire’s most important historic houses.
Upon completion, the solar farm will supply 50 MW of clean and affordable electricity powering up to 15,000 Scottish homes or 19,000 electric vehicles annually. Elgin Energy already has an extensive portfolio of projects across Scotland and the UK. The company previously developed the current largest operational solar farm in Scotland - Errol, a 13 MW solar farm in Perth - completed in 2016.
In 2015, Scotland achieved its 50 percent target of gross annual electricity consumption from renewable energy. The country is now on track to achieve its target of 100 percent by 2020. Scotland has a current total installed capacity of 319 MW of solar PV.