Wind mast application could signal major investment in Perth communities

March 6, 2013 | Renewables News


We have applied to install equipment to measure wind speeds and inform background noise monitoring at a site in Perth and Kinross.

We have now asked for permission to erect a wind mast on the Bandirran Estate, south east of Balbeggie, to help confirm whether the area is suitable for development of a wind farm.

Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “The process of developing a wind farm is very demanding and 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 monitoring mast confirms both the basic wind resource and allows us to make accurate noise predictions, thereby supporting the sensitive design of the project. It also allows us to provide the community with accurate forecasts of energy production from the proposed wind farm.

“If the wind mast confirms our expectations about the wind resource at Bandirran, we wish to work closely with the communities surrounding the site to develop the plans for the wind farm, which could bring a host of social, economic and environmental benefits to the local area.

“We have already had a number of meetings with community groups in the area and whilst we are still at the very early stages of the project we intend to continue to develop these relationships and ensure the communities are kept fully informed.

“Ideally however we would like active community participation in the project’s development, as our experience has shown this results in better outcomes for all concerned.

“To this end we are proposing to the local community councils that a partnership approach is adopted to take the project forward.”

If this approach is adopted it would result in the communities having a stake in the wind farm, with the additional option to increase this stake by way of a community purchase following commissioning of the wind farm.

Communities are then able to plan long term improvements in their villages and towns with the certainty of long term revenue funding to deliver these.

Colin added, “There seems a genuine interest in the partnership idea, but of course people want to see the detail. We’ve therefore agreed to get this to them as soon as we can and hopefully this will pave the way for a meaningful discussion and an agreement on how best to move the project forward.”

We expect to hear in April if the application for the wind mast has been successful.

Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group which has extensive experience of working with communities across Scotland to successfully design and deliver major energy and property and regeneration schemes; making a positive impact on the environment, the economy and the life’s of local people.

Equivalent projects by us have resulted in the creation of jobs and training initiatives, provision of community infrastructure, delivery of major environmental projects and direct funding into community groups.

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