UPDATED: Turbine extensions put the wind up Trump

The companies behind a controversial wind farm planned off the Aberdeenshire coast have submitted proposals to increase the size of the turbines.

In an announcement yesterday, partners behind the 11-turbine European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) confirmed that they had signed working agreements with six potential suppliers and that proposals have been submitted to adjust the maximum height of the turbines by up to 3.5m and to increase the radius of the turbine blades by up to 11m.

The news will come as a blow to Donald Trump whose newly-opened golf course at Menie, Trump International Golf Links, overlooks the site.

In an open letter to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, Mr Trump has called for the names and nationalities of the six potential suppliers to be published.  He describes the turbines as “monstrosities” and claims countries would supply them only because Scotland’s leaders were “stupid enough to buy them.”

Mr Trump, who has been a longstanding opponent to the turbines, has indicated that intentions to build a hotel and other additions at his golf course have been put on hold until a resolution is reached.

Reacting to the news yesterday Trump claimed that his project was more economically beneficial to the local area than the turbines which he described as “ugly” and “inefficient.”

He called the scheme ridiculous saying that turbines would “ominously hover over Aberdeen City and Aberdeen Harbor, ruining its majestic beauty and ultimately, together with the 9,000 other wind turbines proposed by the current government, destroy the entire Scottish economy.”

The EOWDC, which has been awarded a European Union grant of up to €40m, is being developed by European energy firm Vattenfall, offshore engineering services company Technip and the North East of Scotland renewables industry body, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.

Vattenfall claims wind farm manufacturers have shown “significant global interest” in the more than £230m project and that the development of offshore wind technology would bring major economic benefit to the area.

Mr Trump remained defiant however: “Our position has not changed and we intend to fight this application and defeat these horrendous proposals that will ultimately destroy Scotland.”

EOWDC project spokesman Iain Todd said: “We decided to make minor adjustments to the project dimensions to accommodate the tallest of these turbines. We are confident that our careful design results in a barely perceptible increase in visual and environmental effects.”

He added: “We believe the proposed adjustment gives the scheme, Aberdeen City and Shire and Scotland the best possible chance to be genuine world leaders in offshore wind. It would help to attract a new wave of inward investment in plant and facilities and capture the major jobs creation that will come with this.”

Conor McGlone

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