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Griffin Wind Farm

Griffin Wind Farm occupies three parallel ridges between the Griffin Forest and the Craigvinean Forest in Highland Perth & Kinross, centred 5½ miles (9 km) west northwest of Dunkeld and a similar distance east southeast of Aberfeldy. With 68 turbines and a total generation capacity of 156.4 MW, this was the third largest wind farm in Scotland when it was commissioned in March 2012. The site extends over an area of approximately 11.5 sq. miles (30 sq. km) and involved collaboration with several land owners, including the Griffin, Ballinloan and Scotston Forest Estates. The farm was developed by and is operated by Perth-based utility group Scottish and Southern Energy Plc (SSE).

Planning permission was granted in Jan 2008 and construction and work got underway in June 2010 on a site which comprised a mixture of upland heather moorland, grassland and commercial forest. 712 ha (1759 acres) of mature forest was felled to make way for the wind farm, its access roads and associated facilities. The principal contractor was Belfast-based Lagan Construction. Turbines manufactured by the German conglomerate Siemens were installed in three distinct groups of 30, 25 and 13 turbines, from west to east, each generating 2.3 MW of power. The first group stretches from the south side of Creag a' Mhadaidh to Creag na Tairnge; the second stretches from Meall Reamhar to beyond Ben Salachill; and the third group stands in two rows along the southwest flanks of Creag Dhubh and Creag an Eunaich. 61 of these turbines have 101m (331 feet) diameter blades, while the remaining 7 have 93m (305 feet) diameter blades, giving a maximum tip height of 124m (407 feet). Construction work required 27,000 cu. m of concrete for the turbine bases, 21 miles (34 km) of access roads from the A826 road and three new precast concrete bridges.

The development was controversial, opposed by both Perth and Kinross Council and the Amulree and Strathbraan Windfarm Action Group. Controversy struck again during construction when a crane destined for the wind farm blocked the main A822 road for more than twelve hours and again soon after opening, when the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) reported two hen harriers had been killed after apparently striking the turbine blades.

SSE operate a joint community fund benefiting from both the Griffin and Calliachar Wind Farms, which is expected to donate 9.8 million to local projects over their operational life.


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