Windfarm news Feb 15 - 18 2005
An ill wind from turbines
From: Ken Cooke, Wheatley Road, Ilkley.
JENNY Cole's question (Letters, February 12 ): "Is it time to stop this lunacy?" of a plague of costly and inefficient monstrosities, ie, wind turbines, is bang on. Other conscientious green countries are having serious second thoughts.
Both Denmark, which has called a halt to further turbines, and Germany, with 15,000 turbines, have realised that they still need all their conventional power stations.
The Germans are also seeing that in areas "blessed" with turbines, property prices can be reduced by 20 per cent compared with comparable turbine-free areas.
Who wants a turbine in their backyard?
The NIMBY stance is poo-pooed by the pro-turbine lobby, but Joe Bloggs doesn't realise how many thousands of these monstrosities are needed. We will all have one in our backyard.
WINDFARM CAMPAIGNERS DEMAND PUBLIC INQUIRY
A GROUP campaigning against plans to build a windfarm on Clatto Hill is demanding a full public inquiry into the scheme.
Scottish Power has appealed to the Scottish Executive over Fife Council's decision to refuse permission for the 17 turbine windfarm.
The Clatto Landscape Protection Group (CLPG) claims it has been told that a decision has been taken "in principle" to determine the appeal by written submissions.
Members of CLPG say they are "outraged" that the form of the appeal has apparently been determined without them being consulted.
Group chair, Greg Brown, said: "There has been absolutely no consultation with the local community about this matter.
"We will be submitting a case to the Reporters' Unit for a full public inquiry for three reasons.
"Firstly, we believe Scottish Power's information base supporting its planning application is full of flaws. They need to be challenged in cross examination.
"Secondly, there is intense public interest in the issue.
"Thirdly, in the council's consideration of this planning application, council officials all but ignored every issue we raised. Luckily, councillors did not make this mistake."
Mr Brown added: "It is vital that objectors to the windfarm write to the Reporters' Unit asking for a full public inquiry, because it is our only chance of a fair hearing."
CLPG has engaged the services of leading QC John Campbell to contest the appeal.
The group has raised several thousand pounds in a 'fighting fund' to pay the costs of the appeal, which may reach £10,000.
18 February 2005
WINDFARM REDESIGN FAILS TO CONVINCE RESIDENTS
09:00 - 18 February 2005
Residents in a north-east community last night turned out to voice their concerns over the latest plans to build a windfarm close to their homes.
Aberdeenshire Council planners have received almost 200 letters objecting to Perth-based npower Renewables' plans to build 11 turbines at Hill of Snowy Slack.
The firm, which initially wanted to build 20 turbines on the site, between Lumsden and Mossat, has scaled back its plans after its first proposal provoked a backlash two years ago. The project, which would have seen work start this spring, was put on hold and the firm went back to the drawing board.
But its new scheme, for 11 turbines, each 328ft high, has generated almost 190 letters of objection.
And at a public meeting, chaired by Kildrummy Wind Action Group chairman Jim Dow in Lumsden last night, about 45 residents turned out to highlight their concerns.
Kwag secretary Douglas Williamson said: "There are real concerns about it. It is a tier-three Aberdeenshire protected area.
"It just seems to be the wrong thing in the wrong place."
He pointed out that, although there were fewer turbines, they were larger and would cause just as much disruption.
"It has been a very worthwhile meeting and we will now go forward with many aspects to point out to the council," he added.
"We will also continue to encourage people to write into the council with their concerns."
But supporters of the scheme believe that the windfarm could lead to better access roads being built in the area.
COMMUNITY RAISES PYLONS CONCERNS
09:00 - 18 February 2005
A Further Highland community yesterday voiced disgust at the prospect of giant electricity pylons carving their way through an area of beauty in order to link Europe's biggest windfarm to central Scotland.
A week after Ullapool's hopes were raised that the transmission line from Lewis could be driven underground, Kiltarlity Community Council yesterday aired its concerns.
It demanded that Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) buries at least part of the 400kv line which would link Beauly with Denny near Stirling.
The council has written to SSE chief executive Ian Marchant, accusing his company of failing to take the under-grounding option seriously despite the announcement that such a move is an option further north.
Council secretary Ronald MacLean said: "SSE have consistently ignored all the evidence we have referred to in our submissions, which points to under-grounding being significantly less expensive and disruptive than SSE habitually maintain.
Although Highland Council have commissioned a study on under-grounding, SSE refuse to carry out a full analysis of their own. They have never made under-grounding a serious option."
Mr MacLean said the argument was stronger now the regulator Ofgem has increased the allowable cost of the Beauly to Denny line from an earlier estimate of £200m to £332m.
He said: "The increased cost of under-grounding a short length of line, such as the north part of the Kiltarlity section, would be a very small part of this total cost. On the other hand, an overhead line of giant pylons will endanger the environment and economy of this beautiful but well populated rural area."
EXECUTIVE REPORTER INSPECTS MASTS SITES
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09:00 - 18 February 2005
A Representative of the Scottish Executive Inquiry Reporters Unit has carried out a site inspection about the proposed siting of anemometer masts on two Lochaber hillsides.
JH Henderson had come to the Kilmallie and Arkaig areas to acquaint himself with the physical aspects of the surroundings and environment of the two localities.
Windfarm developer North British Windpower (NBW) has lodged plans to install masts on Druim Fada Hill above Corpach and at Loch Arkaig, bordering the Knoydart Peninsula.
Their aim is to achieve additional readings to the two anemometer structures already in place at these locations since 2003.
North British Windpowers initial application had been thrown out by Highland Councils Lochaber area planning committee last August.
However, shortly before Christmas, the company appealed that decision at Scottish Executive level. nIt has not been divulged how many turbines would be built on the two sites.
At the time of the placing of the original proposals, local objectors contacted North British Windpower, seeking details of the windfarms which might result from the anemomemter wind recordings at the two sites.
One of those who made representations in August was Corpach resident David Govan, chairman of the Highlands and Islands Tourist Board.
Mr Govan, who was present at fact-finding visit on Wednesday, said: "NBW would only say that it was continuing to investigate the viability of sites which may fulfil the environmental, social and commercial criteria which apply in Scotland."
He stated local objectors had concerns about the economic impact the windfarms would have on the landward Lochaber area.
A decision from the executive on the NBW appeal is expected towards the end of March.
Reassurances over windfarm plans
Jersey people worried about the potential effects of a windfarm near the island's coast have been reassured by a Scottish councillor.
Councillor Margaret Munn represents Ardrossan South, where there are 12 turbines close to a large community.
The turbines are a similar type to the ones being considered by the French for the Ecrehous area.
Cllr Munn said locals were pleased some of their electricity came from an environmentally-friendly source.
She said residents in her area had similar concerns over the visual impact before the wind farm was set up, but that since it had been running their worries had been allayed.
She added the turbines were visible for miles around, but a lot of people had since described them as "quite relaxing to look at".
Public inquiry for windfarm planBy Luke Dicicco <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Controversial proposals to build the biggest windfarm in England on fells near Tebay will go to a public inquiry in April after the Department of Trade and Industry refused to adjourn the hearing following a request from a consortium of opposing local authorities.
The much-anticipated inquiry into the Whinash Windfarm will go ahead on April 19 on the proviso that applicants Chalmerston Wind Power Ltd supply extra information on the environmental issues surrounding the 27-turbine development over the next week.
A consortium of opposing local councils which includes Cumbria County Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council, the Lake District National Park Authority and Yorkshire Dales National Park had requested that the inquiry be delayed by a month or until the autumn to allow them sufficient time to scour the highly technical environmental documents.
They complained at the second pre-inquiry meeting held last month that they would have a little over a month to digest and respond to the information before all evidence for the inquiry has to be submitted to planning inspector David Rose by March 18.
But the request was refused by the DTI which, in a letter to Mr Rose, said that nothing would be gained from adjourning the inquiry.
The DTI did, however, agree to consider another request for an adjournment if the extra information, which has been supplied voluntarily by CWP Ltd, was not submitted by this week.
But the information went on display at Cumbria County Council's offices, in Kendal; Eden District Council's planning department, at Penrith; the LDNPA's offices, at Murley Moss, Kendal; and Shap Library on Monday.
Justin Hawkins, spokesman for CCC, described the decision not to delay the inquiry as "very disappointing".
The consortium of councils is one of a number of "umbrella" groups fighting the £55 million project that will see 27 turbines each standing taller than St Paul's Cathedral sited on land between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks and alongside the M6 and the West Coast Main Line railway.
Other objectors including local residents, Friends of the Lake District and Cumbria Tourist Board are currently preparing to battle a project they believe will scar the landscape and damage the local economy, and are confident of victory.
But CWP Ltd, which is spending around £500,000 on the inquiry, is also confident that it will be granted permission for a windfarm, which will they say generate enough energy to power tens of thousands of homes and will actually boost the county's £1 billion-a-year tourism industry.
The inquiry will be held at Shap Wells Hotel and is expected to take between four and 16 weeks.
8:35am Friday 18th February 2005
ROUND TWO IN FIGHT TO HALT TURBINES
09:30 - 14 December 2004
Campaigners in the Cotswolds were dusting off their battle plans last night after it emerged a green energy pioneer plans to build more wind turbines in the area. Dale Vince, who runs the Stroud-based Ecotricity, has revealed he wants to erect two more of the windmills in Nympsfield.
The Lynch Knoll site already has one of the highly unpopular electricity turbines.
And just three years ago, plans to build four more in the conservation area were halted by Stroud District Council.
But Mr Vince believes his company will be supplying power to more than 100,000 households in the next three years.
The company, founded in 1995, has long provided electricity for commercial premises. It only started supplying the domestic market 18 months ago, signing up more than 10,000 customers.
Mr Vince, managing director of Ecotricity, said he hoped the 20-acres owned by the company on the outskirts of Nympsfield would accommodate two more turbines.
He said: "A lot of people still don't know that green electricity exists. Next year we are planning a marketing campaign to win people over.
"Eventually we should like to open a park so people could come and see the turbines and the trees."
But Paul Mack, who took part in the 2001 battle to stop Mr Vince's plans, said: "We live in a beautiful part of the country. This turbine diminishes the Cotswold landscape.
"The valley used to go on for miles. Now the turbine stands there, making the landscape look very small. Apart from the visual objections, we also think wind energy is not efficient enough to stop us from having power shortages."
A Ecotricity spokesman yesterday confirmed the plans to build more turbines, but said a planning application had not been submitted.
Bellamy takes a blast at Blackcraig windfarm
Feb 17 2005
AROUND 150 packed heard environmentalist Professor David Bellamy speak out against the proposed Blackcraig Windfarm at Balmacllelan.
Professor Bellamy was in Dalry at a ‘Renewable Energy Coffee Morning’ organised by Galloway Landscape and Renewable Energy.
Mr Bellamy called for an end to all windfarm developments and pointed out that more than 15,000 turbines were being mooted just for Scotland alone – more than in the whole of Germany, where a government report had revealed that little CO2 had been saved because of the need to keep conventional power stations idling.
He said: “Dumfries and Galloway boasts that it is the natural place to live but building more than 450 turbines between Gretna and Stranraer is an obscenity.”
Pupils from Dalry High School had produced presentations on ‘what makes a low energy light bulb different from any other kind.’
Billy Harwood had the best presentation and received Easter eggs and a low energy bulb from Professor Bellamy, who said: “Though they may seem a bit more expensive low energy light bulbs save money, energy and CO2 emissions and consequently our precious environment.”
Also present were Galloway and Upper Nithsdale MSP Alex Fergusson and Dumfries MP Russell Brown, who said building a windfarm on Blackcraig would be inappropriate. He said that while he could not support Professor Bellamy’s call for an end to all windfarm development, he very much opposed them being sited in the wrong place.
But Mr Fergusson said he was surprised that Mr Brown had opposed Blackcraig when Labour policy was in favour of windfarm development.
He said: “What did surprise me was Dumfries MP Russell Brown’s obvious desire to become associated with GLARE’s aims. That is quite astonishing given that this headlong charge down the road of wind farming as Britain’s sole renewable energy initiative is entirely of Labour and Lib Dem origin in Scotland egged on by the Labour Government in London. As Mr Brown is wholly supportive of that Government, his opportunism is almost incredible.”
GLARE co-ordinator Alison Chapman, from Scroggie Hall Farm, said the event had been a success.
She said: “‘Increasingly, people are coming to the realisation that they can save money, help themselves and the environment by investing in small-scale renewables for which there are grants, such as solar tubes. They can buy low energy light bulbs, switch off the stand-by button and get up to work the television instead of using almost as much power as it takes to have it on stand-by.
“Every day more and more people are coming to the realisation that we must not despoil and industrialise our heritage for a short term fix – an economic and environmental disaster that other countries such as Germany and Denmark are already regretting.”
Mrs Chapman and her husband use photovoltaic cells to generate electricity on their farm and they have opened it to the public this week between 2pm and 4pm.
She said: “Since the weekend we have had eight people up to have a look.”
• The amount of windfarms in Scotland needed to meet renewable energy targets will not match “greatly exaggerated’ reports, the Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland (FREDS) said this week.
FREDS chairman and Deputy First Minister, Jim Wallace, said: “Reports suggesting the massive proliferation of windfarms across Scotland are simply nonsense. It is true that a large number of applications are in the system but a great deal of these will not meet out stringent planning regulations.”
Residents blow their tops over wind farm plans
By Wendy Scott
RESIDENTS are up in arms over proposals to site wind farms near the villages of Salsburgh and Hareshaw.
And a public meeting is being held this Friday, February 18, at 7.30pm in Salsburgh Community Centre so villagers can air their views.
Jim Wilson of Hareshaw, who is chairing the meeting, said: “The strength of feeling in our village is running very high regarding these proposals and we would invite concerned members of the public to come along to the meeting.”
North Lanarkshire Council has received a planning application for 12 wind turbines for a site in the south-west of Salsburgh and another at Hareshaw.
Lindsay Kellock, the council’s senior planning officer, said: “This application will be progressed in the usual manner and will be the basis of extensive consultation and press adverts.
“Documentation is available for members of the public to view at the area planning offices at Kildonan Street or at Salsburgh Community Centre.”
Local councillor David Fagan said: “I have very serious concerns about the proximity of the proposed windfarm to the village. Planning permission has recently been granted for houses very near the proposed site.
“I believe there is a strong need for new housing in Salsburgh both to attract people into the village and to ensure that there is sufficient housing to enable young people to remain within the village. I would be very concerned about anything that would threaten this housing development. At a recent public meeting in Salsburgh, the villagers made it very clear that they were not in favour of this proposed development.”
Local MSP Karen Whitefield said: “I feel that this proposed windfarm is too close to the village. Whilst I accept that there is a need for increased use of renewable energy and that windfarms have a part to play in that effort, I also believe that there must be sensitivity about the overall number of windfarms in any given area and also where they are located.”
Moorsyde Action Group launches petition against wind farm plans
A PETITION has been launched by the Moorsyde Action Group opposing plans for a 14 turbine wind farm near Allerdean.
Many local residents who attended a public meeting at Shoresdean village hall last night (Wednesday) were quick to sign up. They are worried about the impact the proposed 110 metre (360 feet) turbines will have on the nearby settlements of Shoreswood, Shoresdean, Thornton, West and East Allerdean, Duddo, Felkington, Grievestead and Grindon.
A planning applicatio
The petition states: 'We ask the competent authorities to reject this proposal on the following grounds: landscape impact; excessive size, number and density of turbines; proximity to housing; damage to the local tourist industry; environmental damage; and inadequate consultation with local people and their representatives.'
Mike Maud, acting chairman of Moorsyde Action Group, explained there had been very little time to examine the application which was a huge and complex document. However, members had already identified areas of concern on which they would be formally requesting that the planning department should seek clarification or further investigation by the applicants or their consultants.
The proposed site lies in an area to the south and west of Berwick identified for potential wind farm development in a renewable energy consultation summary published in October 2003 by the North East Assembly. However, campaigners believe the site has not been examined properly and that potential alternatives need to be taken into account. They are also unhappy with the environmental survey which accompanies the planning application.
"The methodology for bird counts was unsatisfactory and did not represent the true numbers of over-wintering birds traversing, roosting or grazing on the site," said a Moorsyde Action Group spokesman.
The risk of subsidence due to former mine workings on the site is another concern which campaigners do not believe has been properly examined.
"The applicants talked of handling difficulties as they arose with possible deep piling or grouting of old workings. This sort of remedial action might have implications for the hydrology of the site and/or pollution of watercourses which are tributaries of the Tweed," added the spokesman.
"Moorsyde Action Group considers that a full and proper ground survey of the geology, mining disturbance and hydrology should be undertaken before the application is considered."
Campaigners also point out there has been no evaluation of the economic impact for the local area, especially with regard to tourism.
Plans were also unveiled earlier this month by npower renewables for up to 12 wind turbines just two miles away at Toft Hill, near Duddo, while plans for a further 12 turbines are in the pipeline for Barmoor South Moor, near Lowick.
17 February 2005
Storm brewing over wind farms
MAJOR forces are lining up to defeat plans for giant wind turbines which, it is claimed, will be clearly visible from Scott's View – the region's most famous beauty spot near Dryburgh.
It is claimed the turbines will be clearly visible from Scott's View
The proposal to build 13 400-feet high turbines at Broadmeadows, four miles from Selkirk and close to the Southern Upland Way, has been formally opposed by the Scottish Borders Tourist Board (SBTB).
And the Duke of Buccleuch, Scotland's wealthiest landowner whose Bowhill House will be just a mile from the development, is set to join calls for the scheme to be rejected by Scottish Borders Council's planning committee.
But this week, Selkirk Community Council chose to reserve judgement after an animated open meeting, attended by around 20 members of the public, when views for and against were expressed.
Alloa-based Greenpower denies that the wind farm will have an adverse affect on the attractiveness of the area to visitors – despite each turbine being twice the height of Edinburgh's Scott Monument – and believes wind farms represent a different kind of "tourism opportunity".
That is certainly not the view of SBTB, which represents an industry worth an annual £200million and directly supports more than 3,000 jobs.
In a hard-hitting statement drawn up after its recent meeting at the Scottish Parliament, the board cites the visibility of the Broadmeadows turbines from Scott's View, Bowhill and the Three Brethren cairns.
"These landmarks are all important elements of the Borders landscape and vital to the marketing of the area for potential visitors. The substantial financial investment from private businesses and stakeholders could be significantly diminished should the project go ahead." Although the board says it generally supports the development of renewable energy, it feels the Broadmeadows project, along with the AMEC proposal for Minchmoor on the other side of the Southern Upland Way, must be opposed. It fears the Borders could become synonymous with wind farms if they are allowed on exposed open ridges in areas of great natural beauty.
"The overall feeling of the board was that the landscape of the Borders is crucial to one of the most important industries in the area and that, while existing approved wind farm developments are acceptable, those in areas which are closely visible to the majority of visitors would be very detrimental."
On Monday, Selkirk community councillors heard from Greenpower director John Morgan that opponents of the scheme were overstating the detrimental impact. He claimed the turbines would be barely visible from Scott's View and that the company would create a community fund for worthwhile local projects in the Yarrowford area.
It will be for SBC and Ettrick and Yarrow Community Council to decide how this cash will be spent, although it is understood that the refurbishment of Yarrow Hall and provision of a new car park around it has been suggested.
But a spokesman for the Broadmeadows Action Group told TheSouthern that what appeared a clean and attractive energy resource had many downsides. He cited the warning notice on the gate of the Crystal Rig wind farm in Berwickshire which informs walkers their lives are in danger not only from electricity, but also from snow and ice falling from blades and towers.
"There is also the unanswered question of noise from the turbines which will be exacerbated in a valley environment," he added.
Revealing that the duke's Buccleuch Estates would also be objecting, Stephen Vickers, estate manager at Bowhill, said: "We have doubts about the sustainability of wind power and agree with the tourist board about the aesthetics and the impact this project would have on the beauty of our area."
But in a statement, a Greenpower spokesman hit back at critics of the development, claiming there was no evidence to support the tourist board's negative assumption.
"We do not accept that a wind farm in this part of the Borders will diminish its attractiveness to tourists.
"A tourism survey found that 80 per cent of visitors questioned indicated they would actually like to visit a wind farm. It should be recognised that wind farms represent a tourism opportunity, not a deterrent."
He believed the Broadmeadows development could exist in harmony with the Southern Upland Way and offered opportunities to enhance access and facilities serving that section of the coast-to-coast walk.
SBC, which has extended the deadline for submissions, is not expected to consider the planning application before April. "We have had a lot of responses, both for and against," said assistant head of development control Alistair Lorimer.
17 February 2005
ATTACK ON EXECUTIVE OVER 'GREEN' ENERGY
09:00 - 17 February 2005
Highlands and Islands Green MSP Eleanor Scott yesterday condemned the Scottish Executive's "lack of leadership and strategy on renewable energy," claiming it was dividing local communities and hindering initiatives of local entrepreneurs.
Ms Scott is spending the Parliamentary recess in Lewis meeting developers and opponents of wind farms.
She said: "Greens are in favour of wind power in principle, and I believe that the Western Isles has a great opportunity to capture wind energy.
"I would love to see this renewable resource being used to support rural development in the islands, to help regenerate the Arnish yard and to create jobs and income for the communities of the Western Isles.
"Unfortunately the current lack of Scottish Executive strategy on renewable energy and the lack of a coherent plan for developing the necessary transmission infrastructure, means that at the local level wind farm developments are being proposed in what is effectively a planning free-for-all which gives no guarantee of best practice."
Ms Scott said developers and communities were floundering as a result of a lack of guidance.
She spoke after meeting with the local representative of Lewis Wind Power, the company leading the proposal for a 234-turbine wind scheme on the north of the island, and with the factor of the Stornoway Trust, one of the community landowners.
Ms Scott has also heard from staff of Scottish Natural Heritage and the Royal Society of Protection of Birds, organisation which have both objected to the proposed development.
She went on: "It has been really interesting meeting with all those concerned with the wind farm proposals and I have come to appreciate the complexity of the decision making process.
"I respect the enormous amount of work that has been put into the proposal and the environmental assessment.
"Having been out to the Lewis Wind Power site I now have a much clearer idea of the impact of this scheme.
"I think it is a disgrace that developments of this magnitude are being planned without clear guidance from government."
SALMOND IN 11TH-HOUR PLEA OVER WINDFARM CONNECTION CHARGES
09:00 - 17 February 2005
Snp leader Alex Salmond has sent an 11th-hour plea to Britain's energy regulator asking it to think again over imposing "obscene" national grid connection charges on windfarms in the north and north-east.
He made a final submission to the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets' consultation on proposals from the National Grid Company. The proposals call for a location-based charging system that Mr Salmond claims will torpedo plans to exploit Scotland's huge wind-and-wave power resources.
Mr Salmond, MP for Banff and Buchan, made the submission on the day most of the world's nations, except the US, agreed, in the Kyoto Protocol, to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.
The new transmission charging system is being introduced under the British Electricity Trading and Transmission Arrangement. This unifies the electricity markets of England, Wales and Scotland in a move to increase competition among electricity suppliers and slash household bills.
Mr Salmond complained that this will have a damaging effect on renewable energy generators because remote and offshore areas are often the most efficient for resources such as wind, wave and tide power.
He said: "The Government is sabotaging Scotland's renewable future by implementing these obscene charges."
He said Scotland should make a valuable contribution to reducing greenhouse gases by producing power from renewable resources instead of adding to emissions by burning coal, oil or gas in power stations. He warned the charges "will make these grand pledges impossible to achieve".
He said: "These proposals mean that on average Scottish generators will pay 6.3 times more per unit than English and Welsh (generators). Scotland has 25% of Europe's wind power with the biggest potential in offshore power but the burden could prevent them from being harvested."
Ian Marchant, chief executive of Scottish Hydro owners Scottish and Southern Energy, said the proposed "punitive transmission charges" would make the country's renewable energy ambitions much harder to achieve. He called for a fundamental review.
Mr Marchant said the result of the proposals was that "Scotland is in danger of becoming the first place in Great Britain in which power stations will be closed and the last place in which they will be built, all other things being equal".
Wind turbines vision drafted for waterfront
WIND turbines are set to be erected along a redeveloped Edinburgh waterfront to help power thousands of new homes and offices.
Forth Ports, one of the major landowners behind the overhaul of the waterfront, is investigating using wind and wave energy to produce electricity for the massive scheme.
The company hopes renewable energy technology will generate at least ten per cent of the Port of Leith’s electricity and reduce the reliance on the national grid.
Up to 18,000 homes are expected to be built around the Leith Docks area under a 20-year blueprint for the 170-hectare site, which was approved by city chiefs last week.
The plans are expected to create a settlement equal in population to Stirling, Inverness or Perth, increasing the city’s overall population by ten per cent.
Terry Smith, property director at Forth Ports, confirmed the company is to investigate using wind turbines off-shore, on buildings or around the scheme.
"We want to test the prototypes in terms of their effectiveness and visual impact," he said. The port company could also harness energy from the rise and fall of the tide at Leith, which can be anything up to five metres, added Mr Smith.
"That is an awful lot of water. There is proven technology out there. It is not new technology. We are confident about the principle of this, but we have to look at how it will work in local terms. We will carry out a number of tests for wind and waves.
"We also want to ask people what they think about it. I think most people will support the idea of not using scarce resources."
The prospect of using wind and wave energy to produce power for the waterfront scheme was today welcomed by environmentalists.
Dr Dan Barlow, head of research at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "We would very much welcome the use of renewable technologies to power the planned new homes.
"We have long argued that Scotland must develop its superb renewable energy resource in order to tackle climate change. For houses which are to be so close to the sea, harnessing the energy from the wind and the waves makes perfect sense."
But Greens leader Robin Harper MSP said Forth Ports should focus first on creating environmentally-friendly buildings.
He said: "Forth Ports would be better investing in the best of modern sustainable architecture, putting up buildings which use less energy. It might be good to have offshore turbines, although the environmental impact would have to be assessed.
"The biggest problem we are facing is the reluctance of developers to go for the best building standards.
"Before even thinking of wind turbines, they should look at the design of buildings."
Pressure group Swap (Scottish Wind Assessment Project), says the number of wind turbines in Scotland could rise from 600 currently to 2800.
Views of Scotland, whose patron is Professor David Bellamy, claims the Government is ignoring other forms of renewable energy, such as tidal, wave and solar power.
Twenty 100-metre-high turbines are already in operation at Crystal Rig in the Lammermuir Hills - on the boundary of the Borders and East Lothian - providing clean energy for around 33,000 homes. The farm is located about seven miles south of Dunbar and ten miles north-west of Duns.
The Scottish Executive aims to increase the reliance on renewable energy so that by 2010 it is used to generate 18 per cent of Scotland’s electricity. But protesters say wind power is inefficient as an energy source and does not end the reliance on fossil fuels.
Stewartry 14-turbine windfarm approved
Feb 17 2005
BY FRASER ROBERTSON
STEWARTRY and Nithsdale councillors have recommended that a windfarm on the county border goes ahead.
The 14-turbine proposal at Wether Hill sits in the border between Carsphairn and Moniaive.
Developers CRE Energy Ltd – a subsidiary of Scottish Power – want to build 14 turbines which would be 93 metres high from base to blade tip.
Five turbines are in Carsphairn parish and nine are in Glencairn. Glencairn Community Council chairman Sue Grant said the developers had made an offer of a fund to the two communities but the community councils would have to meet to discuss how it would be shared.
A special meeting of the Stewartry and Nithsdale area committees on Friday decided to recommend to the planning and environment committee that the development be approved. The decision would then need to be passed on to Scottish ministers because there are more than 10 turbines.
The development would also include a 60-metre meteorological mast and control building and switch room at Wether Hill, which is around five miles from Moniaive.
In a report before councillors, consultation from the council’s landscape architect said: “Dumfries and Galloway will be expected to take its share of windfarms and there are not sufficient ‘well hidden’ sites within the region, such as Windy Standard, to accommodate its fair share without some of them being widely visible or introducing significant adverse impacts.”
The council archaeologist also said that there was no adverse impact on the setting of monuments in the Stroanfreggan Archaeologically Sensitive Area but there would be an impact on the character of the backdrop to the ASA, although this was reversible.
Officials are recommending that the application be approved and referred to ministers. A legal agreement should be made with the developers to put in place a restoration bond, an obligation to correct any television/radio interference, appoint an independent archaeological/environmental consultant and monitoring of bird interest on the site.
Planning conditions would include starting work within five years and submission of a scheme for decommissioning and reinstatement of the site.
Councillors also agreed that the power line connection to the Penpont sub-station should be underground.
Wind farm due in 2006
Feb 17 2005
THE Burbo Offshore Wind Farm is due to be built in 2006 and operational by the end of the same year.
Geotechnical investigations have recently begun on Burbo Bank to determine the seabed conditions.
The 'Excalibur' jack-up barge has been out at sea since early January taking boreholes of the seabed from the proposed wind farm site.
Environmental monitoring on the site is due to start this summer. This will provide data of all relevant wildlife and environmental conditions within the wind farm area, which can then be monitored during construction and into operation.
LAGGING IN THE RACE FOR ENERGY
16:00 - 17 February 2005
The North-east is lagging behind other areas in developing wind power.
Aberdeen is keen to become a centre for renewable energy but planning applications for windfarms are being concentrated in other parts of Scotland.
Moray and Kinross lead the way with four each out of the 24 applications currently with the Scottish Executive.
The proposed Clashindarroch windfarm extends over Moray into Aberdeenshire.
The Scottish Executive recently put £30,000 towards investigating the possibility of building an energy futures centre next to the Aberdeen's beach
but no planning application has been submitted yet.