Mast application creates opportunity for community partnership

February 7, 2013 | Community News

 

We have applied to install equipment to measure wind speeds and background noise levels at a rural site in Dumfries and Galloway, which could pave the way for a community wind farm.

We have asked for permission to set up a wind mast at Knockendurrick, 5km north-west of Twynholm to confirm whether the area is suitable for developing a wind farm.

Colin Anderson, development director said: “The process of developing a wind farm is a very demanding one that initially involves carrying out many technical and environmental assessments to determine if the site itself is suitable to accommodate the proposed wind turbines.

“The wind mast confirms both the basic wind resource and allows us to make accurate noise predictions, thereby helping us ensure the design will be acceptable for neighboring properties in noise terms.

“If the wind mast confirms our expectations about the wind resource at Knockendurrick, we intend putting forward a direct partnering proposition to the surrounding communities, which would see them being directly involved in the project.”

We have been liaising with community groups around the proposed Knockendurrick site for a number of months to gauge interest in the idea of taking forward a community focused wind farm partnership at Knockendurrick.

This initial round of community discussions should be completed by late spring, at which time the partnership offering will be finalised for detailed consultation.

Such a partnership would see communities having a direct stake and involvement in the wind farm, as well as the option to increase their interest through a community purchase post construction.

Following discussion with Dumfries and Galloway Council the opportunity to get involved in the initiative is being extended to the communities of Twynholm, Gatehouse of Fleet, Kirkcudbright, Tongland, Borgue, Castle Douglas and Kelton, which all lie within 15km of the proposed development.

Colin added: “Well designed wind farms in appropriate areas have the potential to be incredibly positive for the local economy, environment and the lives of local people.

“The community partnership that we are suggesting to local people around the Knockendurrick site will we hope be of interest and would lead to their direct participation in the project.

“It creates the opportunity for these communities to take direct action to address the issues and priorities that they feel are important to improve their own lives.”

“Throughout the development process we will continue to provide regular updates to the communities involved and we’re looking forward to making meaningful progress over the coming year on this exciting project.”

This Knockendurrick Wind Farm could create up to 34 MW of energy which would displace approximately 58,000 tonnes of CO2 annually from the atmosphere that would otherwise be released if the electricity was generated using fossil fuels.

Power generated by wind farms will help Scotland continue to enjoy the constant, reliable energy supply modern life demands – and such wind farms have already reduced the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels imported from unstable overseas markets.

As well as supporting the Scottish Government’s drive towards producing all of the energy consumed in the country through renewable means, our Knockendurrick project would provide a significant boost to the local economy, as well as directly supporting local communities.

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