Ard Ghaoth wind farm planning process put on hold by developer

May 22, 2012 | Renewables News

Responsible developer Banks Renewables has announced that plans to submit a planning application for its Ard Ghaoth wind farm near Drymen, Stirling are being delayed.

The company has outlined plans for 10 turbines at the site, which would generate up to 20MW, enough to meet the annual electricity requirements of 11,100 homes, removing 22,600 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere that would be released producing energy by non-renewable means.

However, the company has temporarily delayed further progress with the planning application, so that it can carry out more detailed wind analysis at the site.

Colin Anderson, director at Banks Renewables said: “We want to take more time gathering and analysing wind data at the site, because the first few months’ worth of information collected has thrown up some surprises.“Effectively we are seeing wind speeds during this early stage in monitoring which are lower than we expected and deviate from the estimates by independent experts based on available data from the nearest wind farms and met office stations and what we see generally in Scotland.

“We take great pride in our development with care philosophy and in light of these unexpected findings, we want to do the responsible thing. In this case, that means putting the planning submission on hold while we investigate further.

“We remain committed to the site and once we have more detailed information available to us we look forward to continuing with the development.

“In the meantime, we will be delaying a series of planned public exhibitions, though our team on the ground will remain in close contact with members of the local community.”

The team at Banks Renewables erected a 60ft wind mast, complete with wind data monitoring equipment, at the Ard Ghaoth site in December 2011 and will continue wind monitoring for at least another year to build up a complete picture of the wind resource.

To estimate wind speed on a site developers use a variety of independant sources, including current data from surrounding wind farm sites, information from NOABL – a source of national wind speed data – as well as Met Office data.

Hamilton-based Banks Renewables has been liaising with the local community since the outset of the proposal, and will continue to provide regular updates as it gathers more information over the coming months.

The company is committed to supporting the Scottish Government’s drive towards producing all of the energy consumed in the country through renewable means and the proposed site at Ard Ghaoth was developed as a fundamental part of this drive. 

It believes power generated by wind farms will help Scotland continue to enjoy the constant, reliable energy supply upon which our lifestyle depends – and have already reduced reliance on fossil fuels imported from unstable overseas markets.                                                         

Colin Anderson added: “We are proud to be helping the Scottish Government meet its renewable energy targets, while also helping to sustain local communities and local businesses. We remain extremely hopeful our Ard Ghaoth site will be part of that.”

Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group (www.banksgroup.co.uk), a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs 380 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors. The company’s Development with Care approach underpins all its work, driving community consultation and environmental excellence.

Registered office: Inkerman House, St John's Road, Meadowfield, Durham, DH7 8XL

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