In December 2012, Eneco announced plans to seek consent for a wind farm on land adjacent to Backwater Reservoir.

The site is approximately six miles north west of Kirriemuir in Angus and has been named Macritch Hill after the hill just east of the reservoir.

This land is owned by Scottish Water which is currently investigating ways in which it can become self sufficient in its energy use. Eneco was awarded the opportunity to investigate the site’s suitability to host a wind farm following a competitive tendering process.

The proposed Macritch Hill Wind Farm would have the capacity to generate up to 59.4 MW of renewable energy and would comprise up to 18 wind turbines of an overall height from base to tip not exceeding 125 metres (each turbine with a capacity of up to 3.3 MW). Eneco have previously consulted on a 54MW development capacity which assumed a turbine capacity of 3.0 MW. The energy produced could supply Scottish Water with up to 1/3 of their annual energy consumption and offset approximately 53,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year*.

Eneco has undertaken a comprehensive programme of public and stakeholder consultation. Detailed environmental and technical studies have been completed, designed to determine the suitability of the site. Following this consultation period, Eneco submitted a planning application to the Scottish Government on 14 January 2015 for approval. You can view the planning application here:

Due to file sizes, figures for the following categories are available on CD upon request: 4. Site Selection & Alternatives Considered / 6. Landscape & Visual Effects / 7. Ecology / 8. Ornithology / 9. Noise / 10. Hydrology, Hydrology & Soils / 11. Culture Heritage / 12. Transport & Access / 13. Socio-economics, Tourism & Recreation

Angus Council wrote to ECDU on 14 May 2015 stating their opinion that "there is a lack of information on noise impacts" and that their corresponding objection "could theoretically be overcome by further technical assessment".  Therefore, Eneco commissioned further technical assessment and a noise assessment clarification document was sent to Angus Council by email on Wednesday 12th August.

Eneco has submitted a memo to Angus Council dated 6 October 2015 in response to their communication dated 11 September 2015. This responds to two points in relation to noise amenity that had been raised previously as part of Angus Council’s initial response to Eneco’s planning application. 

On 28 October 2015, Eneco wrote a letter to ECDU to request an extension to the present period of consultation (due to end on 4 November 2015) to mid-January 2016. If granted, Eneco will be able to continue with the effective consultation with local stakeholders regarding matters concerning Angus Council (see above). To date Eneco has made good progress with these items and has reduced the scope of matters that will require examination at PLI. If the request to extend the present period of consultation is agreed, this will also allow Eneco the opportunity to understand the latest Governmental statements relating to the status of the Levy Control Framework which are predicted to be released before the end of 2015. 

November 2015: The Macritch Hill Wind Farm application process will now progress to the next stage. This process will see Local Energy and Consents (LEC) bring the local consultation phase to a close before passing the application on to the Department for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) in order for them to proceed with a Public Local Inquiry (PLI). This next stage could take around 10-12 months before a recommendation is made on the status of the project after which Scottish Ministers will make a final decision.

11 January 2016: The developer behind the Macritch Hill Wind Farm project, Eneco, has today (January 11th 2016) confirmed their decision to withdraw the application. Eneco spokesperson said: ‘We are withdrawing from the proposed Macritch Hill wind farm project. The decision to withdraw from the project is due to the continued uncertainty of the Contract For Difference (CfD) regime. We would like to emphasise that this decision is not related to the planning or environmental situation. We remain confident in the project and the real benefits it would bring in reducing Scottish Water’s energy costs as well as supporting the Scottish Government’s renewable targets. The proposed 18 turbine wind farm in partnership with Scottish Water, on Scottish Water land adjacent to Backwater Reservoir is based in Kirriemuir, Angus.'

Eneco continues to be fully committed to the project which is based on Scottish Water’s land near Kirriemuir. If the project is consented it will help Scottish Water reduce their energy costs as well as supporting the Scottish Government’s renewable targets.

To keep up-to-date with the latest developments, please visit this site regularly or contact us for updates.
A list of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ's) can be found on this website, however if you have any specific questions, please get in touch.

* based on 430g of CO2 per KWh.