Green energy expert educate Perthshire over 50s

January 29, 2014 | Community News

A group for over 50s in Perthshire has ensured its members are well-informed about plans for a wind farm in their area.

The Scone and District over 50s club invited us to address more than 60 members about its plans for Bandirran Wind Farm near Balbeggie. We sent our development relations officer Callum Whiteford, who was delighted at the opportunity to address the Over 50s group

Our planning application for the Bandirran project was submitted earlier this month (JAN) after consulting extensively with local people, the Bandirran Estate and a wide range of local organisations and businesses.

It includes our unique Community Partnership approach, which would see the community collect 2.5% of wind farm revenues and give them the added option to purchase up to a 5% stake in our company.

Callum took the time to outline the direct benefits the wind farm would bring to the Estate and the local area – and answered questions from the audience about technical aspects of the project.

Event organiser Janet McDuff said: “We invite speakers to our over 50s club every month, and this opportunity came up. The Bandirran proposals are a big issue in our area at the moment. The local wind farm is something that will affect our local community, and we wanted to ensure our group members were given the facts by a professional with the knowledge to answer any queries they might have.

“Callum put together a very informative talk, explaining how the wind farm would work and giving us a general overview of the project. Banks Renewables have been keen to involve the community. Even though Scone is the largest village in Scotland, there have been lots of community meetings to discuss the plans, and information has been made available to us throughout.”

Callum spent an hour giving an informative presentation to the group on January 15 at Scone Public Hall.

He added:  “Talking to a large group of people is always nerve-wracking, so I really appreciated the warm welcome I was given and the great interest shown by the group members.

“We understand that projects such as creating a wind farm can initially appear daunting for communities, so it was heartening to see so many people in attendance, wanting to hear more information about what we are aiming to do here with the Bandirran Wind Farm.

“Meetings like these provide a fantastic opportunity to get the community more involved, and we appreciate the willingness of the local community to come and listen to our plans as well as our Community Partnership proposal.”

If Bandirran Wind Farm is given the go-ahead, locals will see a host of long-term benefits. The Community Partnership scheme would yield revenues for local community groups, charities and voluntary organisations, with the proposal being to set up a Bandirran Community Partnership to consider applications and make decisions on funding. The fund would be used to target local issues that are identified by local people.

Similar projects we have overseen have resulted in job creation initiatives, provision of community infrastructure, delivery of major environmental projects and direct funding into community groups

During the construction of the wind farm, contracts will be required for a variety of jobs including construction and maintenance, ground works, quarry and building products, plant hire and haulage, waste solutions, fabrication, aggregates, utilities, professional services and hospitality, and we fully intend to contract this locally.

The application is for six turbines to be built on the Bandirran Estate, with each turbine standing up to 132m high. The site is set to generate up to 20.4MW of clean, green energy.

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