Developer takes next step towards community partnership

May 15, 2013 | Community News

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

The wind mast has been set up at our proposed Knockendurrick Wind Farm, 3km north-west of Twynholm to confirm whether the area is suitable for a wind farm development.

The 60m high test mast represents the first in a new type of wind mast to be used by us and was raised earlier this month (April).  The new mast series has been engineered with a unique slot together design, which results in a reduced environmental impact.

As all components can be lifted safely by no more than two people, no large plant is required, which minimises disruption to local road networks, farmers and livestock. The mast is also slimmer in appearance, meaning there is even less visible in the surrounding landscape.

Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “The use of the new H1 series of test mast reconfirms our promise to communities to ensure that appearance of the mast within its landscape setting is acceptable.

“Developing a wind farm is a demanding process and it is necessary to carry out a number of technical and environmental assessments initially in order to conclude if the site is suited to accommodate a wind farm.

“The purpose of the test wind mast is to confirm both the basic wind resource while also assisting us to make precise noise assessments which will allow us to ensure the design will be acceptable for neighboring properties.

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

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

Although at the early stages of this proposed wind farm we have recently held a number of successful public exhibitions where it liaised with local communities and provided further information on the proposed 10 turbine Knockendurrick Wind Farm.

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.

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