The South Kyle wind farm is the largest onshore wind farm developed by Vattenfall in the UK. Credit: Blue Planet Studio via Shutterstock.
The wind farm commenced operations in 2023. Credit: Vattenfall.
The N133/4.8 turbine incorporates the rotor blade from the N131 turbine model. Credit: Nordex.
The wind farm was inaugurated in June 2023. Credit: Vattenfall.

The South Kyle wind farm, located approximately 5km east of Dalmellington in Scotland, UK, was officially inaugurated in June 2023.

With an installed capacity of 240MW, it is the largest onshore wind farm developed by Swedish multinational power generation company Vattenfall in the UK.

Vattenfall operates the wind farm while UK-based renewable infrastructure fund Greencoat UK Wind is the project owner.

In April 2020, Greencoat signed an agreement with Vattenfall to acquire the wind farm after its completion. The deal required Vattenfall to build the wind farm and manage it on behalf of Greencoat UK for at least ten years once operational.

The South Kyle wind farm is expected to generate enough power to meet the annual electricity demand of approximately 190,000 Scottish homes while offsetting up to 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

South Kyle wind farm makeup

The South Kyle wind farm is built on a 2,402ha site located in the East Ayrshire, Dumfries, and Galloway council areas, with more than 60% of it situated in East Ayrshire.

It features 50 units of Delta4000 N133/4.8 wind turbines. The turbines are mounted on tubular steel towers and have a blade tip height of 149.5m.

Of the 50 wind turbines, 30 are located within East Ayrshire, with the remaining 20 installed in Dumfries and Galloway.

The project also involved building a substation, a control building, and a network control building at the site.

Delta4000 turbine details

The N133/4.8 turbines installed at the South Kyle wind farm have a nominal output of 4.8MW each. The Delta4000 turbines are designed to operate in cut-in wind speeds of 3m/s and cut-out wind speeds of up to 28m/s. The wind turbine features a 133.2m rotor with a swept area of 13,935m². It provides a 39% increase in yield compared to its predecessors.

The N133/4.8 is designed for strong-wind sites and integrated with the rotor blade from the N131 turbine.

The rotor blade is combined with the hub and nacelle of the N149/4.0-4.5, a Delta4000 series turbine, to create the N133/4.8.

The turbine features a double-fed asynchronous generator and a liquid/air cooling system. The turbine braking system includes an aerodynamic main brake and a disc-holding brake.

Transmission at the South Kyle wind farm

The wind turbines are connected to the 132kV/33kV on-site substation through 33kV cables. The substation increases the voltage of the electricity for further transmission to the grid via a 4.5km-long, 132kV cable connection.

The wind farm is connected to the grid at the New Cumnock Substation at Meikle Hill. The substation is owned by Scottish Power Energy Network and located at the project site’s northern access point on the B741 route.

Power purchase agreement

The South Kyle wind farm is backed by a 15-year route-to-market power purchase agreement (PPA) with Vattenfall Energy Trading, a trading division of Vattenfall.

According to a corporate PPA signed in 2020, the wind farm will supply a portion of its power to Scottish soft drinks manufacturer A.G.Barr.

Construction of the wind farm

Construction works at the project site began in June 2020. Civil engineering and electrical works continued until the end of 2021.

The first turbine’s foundations were installed in August 2021. Installation of the wind farm’s 50th and final turbine was completed in April 2023. The project created 720 jobs during peak construction.

Contractors involved in the South Kyle wind farm

German turbine manufacturer Nordex Group was awarded the contract for the supply of wind turbines in 2020. The contract also included a premium service agreement for the maintenance of the machinery.

Vattenfall awarded a £67m ($45.76m) construction contract to Scottish civil engineering company RJ McLeod to deliver roads and access tracks, turbine foundations, as well as electrical and other infrastructure.

RJ McLeod then subcontracted Powersystems, an electrical engineering company based in the UK, to provide the electrical balance of plant works for the South Kyle wind farm.

LDA Design, an independent design and planning consultancy, provided design advice, landscape and visual impact assessment, and expert witness support for the project.

UK-based environmental engineering company Natural Power was chosen to provide site management services during the project’s construction phase.

South Kyle wind farm II

Vattenfall has proposed the development of the South Kyle II wind farm in the east of Dalmellington in East Ayrshire. It submitted a scoping report to the Scottish Government in 2022. An environmental impact assessment is currently underway for the project.

Although the initial plan called for installing up to 17 turbines with a combined capacity of up to 119MW, in the revised plan, the maximum number of turbines has been reduced to nine with a combined capacity of up to 67MW.