The South Kyle Wind Farm will be Vattenfall’s largest onshore wind farm in the UK once operational. Credit: Blue Planet Studio / Shutterstock.
The wind farm is expected to start operations in 2023. Credit: Vattenfall.
The N133/4.8 turbine incorporates the rotor blade from the N131 turbine model. Credit: Nordex SE.

The South Kyle Wind Farm is an onshore wind farm being developed in Scotland, UK, by Swedish multi-national power generation company Vattenfall. Located around 5km east of Dalmellington town, the project will be Vattenfall’s biggest onshore wind farm in the UK.

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

Vattenfall Energy Trading, a trading division of Vattenfall, has agreed to buy the power generated from the wind farm under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Expected to be completed in 2023, the South Kyle Wind Farm will generate enough power to meet the annual electricity demand of around 170,000 Scottish homes while offsetting up to 300,000t of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

South Kyle wind farm make-up

The South Kyle wind farm is being 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 will feature 50 units of Delta4000 N133/4.8 wind turbines. The turbines will be mounted on tubular steel towers and have a blade tip height of 149.5m.

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

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

Delta4000 turbine details

The N133/4.8 turbines to be installed at the South Kyle wind farm have a nominal output of 4.8MW each. 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 will be connected to the 132/33kV onsite substation through 33kV cables. The substation will increase the voltage of the electricity for further transmission to the grid via a 4.5km-long, 132kV cable connection.

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

Construction of the wind farm

Construction works at the project site began in June 2020 and mainly involved felling, civil engineering and associated infrastructure development. The civil engineering and electrical works are expected to continue until the end of 2021, while turbine installation is expected to begin in 2022.

The first turbine’s foundations were installed in August 2021.

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 includes 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, electrical infrastructure and other infrastructure.

LDA Design, an independent design and planning consultancy, provided design advice, landscape and visual impact assessment (LVIA) 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.