The next phase in work to lay an onshore cable bringing power from the Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm to Scotland is due to commence at Carnoustie Golf Links week commencing 5 October.
In the coming days, an overall works programme to progress the laying of the underground cable for the Seagreen project, which will be Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm when complete, will commence. The works will require the temporary closure of the Buddon Links golf course.
The programme has been developed by the Seagreen project team in consultation with Angus Council and Carnoustie Golf Links and will include a range of measures to ensure the construction works undertaken minimise effects on the Golf Links’ landscape. These include:
Specialist cable burial methods that avoid the need for any works to take place on, or in, any water bodies, therefore causing minimal disturbance to birds and their habitats.
The use of a cable plough which will run on skids to allow the installation of the cable ducts in a way which will minimise ground disturbance or removal of vegetation by the surface equipment.
The implementation of a tree management programme which includes tree relocation, removal and replanting. The replanting programme will see five trees planted for every one required to be removed in the cable corridor, once construction is complete.
Onshore Works Project Manager for Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm, Steven Reid said:
“We’re very conscious of the importance of Carnoustie Golf Links to the residents of Carnoustie and Angus, and of course golfers from across Scotland and around the world.
“We’ve been working collaboratively with Carnoustie Golf Links and Angus Council to preserve the area and make sure that the works are managed in such a way as to remove or minimise any risks to sensitive habitats and wildlife.”
Angus Council Leader, Cllr David Fairweather said:
“We appreciate the patience of Carnoustie and Angus residents as works continue on this project. However, the Seagreen Offshore Wind farm will be Scotland’s single largest source of renewable energy, contributing significantly to Scotland’s net-zero ambition and will create enough clean, renewable energy to power 1.3 million homes, in addition to bringing high quality jobs and investment to Angus.
“Angus Council has already committed to our Mercury Programme which focuses on protecting Angus for future generations to live, work and visit by becoming a sustainable, low carbon region that leads the development and implementation of innovative clean technologies. This project absolutely meets those ambitions.”
Chief Executive for Carnoustie Golf Links Michael Wells said:
“We’re working closely with SSE Renewables and their contractors to ensure the disruption to golfers is as minimal as possible.
“We know that Season Ticket Holders will be disappointed at the temporary closure of The Buddon Links but we are confident that we will be able to open up a number of holes in a matter of days, once fences are up and demarcation means that play can go ahead safely.
“While The Buddon course (in its entirety) will be fully closed for a very short period of time, we are working hard to reduce the impact to Season Ticket Holders during this period, including providing additional access to the Burnside course and other offers to thank local golfers for their patience during the essential works.
“We are confident that the works taking place will have no long-term detrimental effect and welcome the enhancement that the extensive replanting programme and also the £1.8m community benefits package that SSE Renewables has made available for Angus as an additional benefit of the project.”
All works at Carnoustie Golf Links are expected to be completed by December 2021.
Works at Carnoustie Golf Links are scheduled for a time when there will be no breeding birds. Once the nesting season starts, regular surveys will be carried out by ecologists to identify any nest sites or breeding behaviour.
If a nest site is identified, then the contractor ecologist will set up a buffer around the nest which will be monitored daily. There will be no clearance in that area until such time as it is confirmed the chicks are fledged.
As part of the tree management programme, 80 trees will be sensitively transplanted and relocated to new locations on and around the Golf Links while 200 trees will be removed. It is expected that up to 1,000 new trees including a native woodland mix of mature or semi-mature specimens will be replanted, a net increase of 800 new trees in total.
It is expected that leaves and wood from the trees that are removed will be chipped for use on site at Carnoustie Golf Links.
The 1,075MW, 114-turbine Seagreen project is located 27km off the coast of Angus. A £3bn joint venture between SSE Renewables and Total, Seagreen will be Scotland’s single largest source of renewable energy, providing a significant contribution to Scotland’s net-zero ambition and enough clean, renewable energy to power 1.3 million homes.
On 7 September, Seagreen and Montrose Port Authority announced that plans for Seagreen’s Offshore Windfarm operations and maintenance base, to be located in Montrose, had been finalised. The Montrose operations and maintenance base will bring investment and jobs to the local area for the 25-year life of the project.
A £1.8m community fund to benefit communities across Angus, including Carnoustie has also been announced.