Crystal Rig Phase III is the extension, to the successful Crystal Rig I and Crystal Rig II projects. The extension is on the northern side of Crystal Rig II, 1.3km to the south of the Lothian Edge and 3km north of the summit of Birk Cleugh Hill.
Phase III has six turbines and uses spare capacity on the local power distribution system and optimise the existing grid connectivity and infrastructure in place for Crystal Rig Phase II on the wind farm site itself. Phase III makes use of existing infrastructure where possible, including access routes from the A1 on public roads, on-site tracks and the operations centre.
This photo shows the existing Crystal Rig wind farm in the area.
Environmental studies covering, for example, landscape, wildlife, archaeology and noise were carried out by a combination of specialist independent consultants, including our lead consultant Natural Power. The results of baseline surveys and the information gathered were drawn upon to help design the extension ensuring it has minimal impact on the surrounding areas. Because Phase III is an extension to an already consented development the application was submitted to the Scottish Government under Section 36 of the Electricity (Scotland) Act 1989. The Local Council was consulted on the application, which was then determined by Scottish Ministers.
When we build and operate wind farms we also focus on reducing the impact on local communities and the area's ecology. A Community Benefit Fund has been established as part of its ongoing commitments to communities in the vicinity of the wind farm. The purpose of the fund is to enable communities to carry out improvements to their local area in ways which benefit the local environment, local amenities or tourism. Each year the wind farm allocates an amount of money to the community council, which administers its disbursement to the community.