Split decision over wind farms in Scotland
The Scottish Government has this week given the go-ahead for a 22-turbine wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway, but Ministers have rejected plans for a similar-sized scheme on the Scottish borders.
Consent has been granted for the £65m ScottishPower Renewables project in Ewe Hill; which will have the generating capacity to power approximately 24,000 homes in the area.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Ewe Hill Wind Farm will create a significant number of jobs, as well as generating power for many thousands of homes.
“Projects like this provide considerable benefits to the local community, and play an important part in helping Scotland reach its target of 100 per cent of electricity demand generated from renewables.”
ScottishPower Renewables expects Ewe Hill Wind Farm to deliver the equivalent of £5,000 per MW of installed capacity per annum towards community led initiatives, totalling around £6.3 million over the lifetime of the development. The firm is currently in discussions with local communities on how to take this fund forward.
Meanwhile, an application to build the 21-turbine Rowantree wind farm near Oxton has been refused on the grounds of ‘noise and visual impacts’ to nearby residents.
“The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places, and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of renewables projects should reflect the scale and character of the landscape, as well as being considered environmentally acceptable,” said Ewing.
“That is why I have refused permission for the proposed wind farm at Rowantree, which would have brought unacceptable environmental impacts to people living in the area.”
The Scottish Government has determined 93 energy applications since May 2007; including consent for 63 renewable applications and 19 non-renewable projects. It has rejected 11 energy applications over the same period, all of which were onshore wind farms.
Floating wind farm
This comes in the same week that plans have been put forward for the world’s first floating offshore wind farm to be built in Scotland.
Kincardine Offshore Windfarm – a joint project between Pilot Offshore Renewables and Atkins – would see developers place up to 10 miles off the Aberdeenshire coast. Construction would begin in the second quarter of 2016 and the wind farm would open by the end of 2017. Public consultation begins over the next few weeks.
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