The Strathy South wind farm project is located to the south of SSE Renewables' operational Strathy North wind farm, approximately 12km to the south of Strathy village.

In November 2021, SSE Renewables was granted consent by Scottish Ministers to construct and operate 35 turbines, known as Strathy South Wind Farm, (with a ground to blade tip maximum height of 200m metres), in lands Strathy, Sutherland.

The Notice of Decision is available to view HERE

Consent granted in
Number of consented turbines

Proposed Temporary Laydown Area – Pennyland (May 2024)


Strathy South Compulsory Purchase Order (December 2023)

SSE Renewables has formally promoted a Compulsory Purchase Order (“CPO”) for the acquisition of land required for the transportation of turbine components for Strathy South Wind Farm. CPO is a legal process used to acquire land, or rights in land, needed to enable a project to proceed, where this might otherwise not be possible through negotiation alone, and where there is a strong case in the public interest to do so.

SSE Renewables primary aim is to reach voluntary agreements with all impacted landowners, and we are encouraged by the on-going negotiations to date. Our decision to submit a CPO is not uncommon and will run in the background to on-going voluntary negotiations. The primary aim remains unchanged; to reach a voluntary agreement with all parties.

We are fully aware and sensitive to the concerns that affected parties may have. We actively encourage all affected parties to discuss their concerns directly with the Project team and if they are not already in dialogue with a member of the team, to please e-mail [email protected] for further information.

Following the promotion of CPO, affected parties may make a representation to Scottish Ministers (raise an objection) to express concerns or request further information. These representations can then be withdrawn where the party feels satisfied with the information provided and/or where voluntary landowner agreements have been reached.

As we look forward to the construction of Strathy South Wind Farm, we are committed to continuing to work in as open and transparent a manner as possible. We have issued direct communications to the affected landowners, but we are happy to discuss this process with individuals/organisations that would like further information. In addition, we will advertise the submission of our CPO in full compliance with the set legal requirements and advertise this information also on our project website.

A complete set of the submitted CPO documents can be found below, including the Statement of Reasons document which provides additional detail on the rationale behind the use of these powers.

Planning Application Amendment – April 2023

SSE Renewables has applied for planning consent for alternate access arrangements at Strathy South Wind Farm.

The proposal is to utilise the access track consented for use for the neighbouring Strathy Wood Wind Farm. This would avoid the construction of a new track serving only Strathy South Wind Farm and negates the need for a significant water crossing to be constructed over the river Strathy.

The application documents are available to view on The Highland Council website here. Reference 23/01402/FUL.

Section 36C Variation Application - August 2020

In August 2020, SSE submitted an application to Scottish Ministers to vary the existing consent for the Strathy South wind Farm, previously granted in April 2018.

The Section 36c Variation has been determined with consent granted by Scottish Ministers. All application documents can be found on this website by clicking here.

Alternatively, the documents can be viewed on the Scottish Government Energy Consent Unit's website here, (application reference number ECU00002133).

Project Background

In 2007 we submitted a proposal to the Scottish Government for a 77 turbine wind farm at Strathy South, an area of commercial forestry plantation, approximately 12km south of Strathy village in north-east Sutherland.

The site lies a few kilometres south of our operational 33 turbine Strathy North wind farm.

Addendum and Further Information Report

Following our 2007 application submission, we undertook considerable additional work and consultation to address consultee feedback and improve the design. As a result of this, in July 2013 we submitted an Addendum to the Scottish Government for a much smaller 47 turbine scheme and this was further reduced to a 39 turbine scheme in 2014.

This provided an improved design to reduce its environmental impact, particularly on peatland and birds.

A copy of the Addendum and subsequent Further Information Report is available to view below.

The key changes to the proposal from the Addendum and Further Information Report were as follows:

  • Turbine numbers reduced from 77 turbines to 39 turbines
  • Maximum turbine 'tip height' increased from 110m to 135m
  • Access tracks reduced with better use of existing tracks
  • Lay-down areas and borrow pits rationalised and reduced
  • Grid route moved out of designations and now routed through Strathy North substation

In addition, we repositioned turbines to avoid sensitive areas such as deep peat, pulled turbines back from the south and east forest edges where possible to increase the distance from nearby designations, increased the buffer from watercourses to 70m, created a bird corridor within the site and focused our Habitat Management Plan on peatland restoration in and around the site.

Visibility within the surrounding area remained minimal, despite the increase in the maximum turbine tip height.

Public Inquiry

The Highland Council objected to the proposal triggering a public inquiry which began in 2015, concluding in June 2015 with a recommendation to approve the project.

From this, Scottish Ministers consented Strathy South on 27 April 2018.

Market changes and future of the project

The closure of Ofgem’s Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme to new onshore wind projects in March 2017 meant that we had to re-evaluate our approach to ensure new projects can succeed without ROCs. Wind turbine technology is continually evolving with larger, more productive and efficient designs which provides options for the development at Strathy South.

In April 2019 we submitted a Scoping Report to explore the opportunity to vary the consent which would enable optimal performance from the site in a modern energy market free of support mechanisms. Scoping reports are voluntary and engage stakeholders prior to any planning application being submitted.

The main changes proposed in the Scoping Report include an increased tip height of up to 200m and deletion of 1.2km of access tracks.

Environmental considerations

Over the last 10 years a significant amount of environmental survey work has been carried out on the Strathy South proposal. Given its careful approach to development, the extent of work has gone significantly beyond what is required, so that the project could be designed with an abundance of information at hand. SSE has commissioned comprehensive ecological, peat, bird and other studies, and consulted with stakeholders to ensure a thorough knowledge of the site’s characteristics.

The re‐design of the scheme has reduced the total site impact to just 60 hectares from infrastructure and associated indirect effects (including temporary impacts increases this figure to 77.86 ha). We have focused our efforts on both reducing any negative impacts and also creating significant positive impacts from the proposal in the area - specifically the surrounding designations which protect the Flow Country peatlands and important bird species.

Project documentation

Contact info

If you have any queries or wish to speak with the project team, please contact:

Eilidh Edgar, Stakeholder Engagement Manager

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07879992917