Legal counsels believe a technical issue "throws into doubt the legality of wind farm operators in Scotland who do not have OFGEM licences or exemption from DECC". In particular, judge Lady Clark's ruling “casts doubt on the power of Scottish Ministers to grant consent to non-licence-holders under the 1989 Electricity Act for 50 MW+ wind farms (3).”
“Scottish Borders Council has taken the lead by writing to the Energy Consents and Deployment Unit about the Section 36 application for Rowantree wind farm near Oxton. SBC's solicitor has argued that it follows from Lady Clark's ruling that the application is not "competent" and "falls to be immediately refused without any further procedure of any kind". According to SBC the applicant, RWE Npower Renewables Ltd. is "not a licence-holder, and is not an exempt person within the meaning of the 1989 Act" (4).
"There is little doubt other hard-pressed local authorities will follow in SBC's footsteps", said Graham Lang, Chair of national anti-wind farm alliance Scotland Against Spin."
"Senior counsel has also advised anti-wind farm campaigners across Scotland that Lady Clark's ruling in fact applies to all wind farm developments of 10 MW and above, not just the ones of 50 MW and above which are Section 36 applications. Since very few applicants will have OFGEM licences or exemption from DECC before consent, objectors to applications for 10 MW+ wind farms currently in the planning process will be arguing that these should be refused by planning committees and reporters without further ado."
"Scotland is being besieged by speculative wind farm applications which are time-consuming and expensive for local planning departments, and increasingly unpopular with the communities they threaten.”
Read the full press release from SAS: Landmark ruling threatens Scottish wind farms