September 8, 2006

Ministers refuse wind farm plan

Plans by a US energy company to build a wind farm in Perthshire have been refused by Scottish ministers.

Catamount Energy applied for consent to build the 24-turbine development at Abercairny, near Crieff.

The Scottish Executive has agreed with the findings of a public inquiry that the wind farm would have a “significant adverse impact” on the environment.

Ministers said the need for renewable energy had to be balanced with protecting Scotland’s natural heritage.

Catamount lodged its plans for the wind farm, with the capacity to generate 66 megawatts, in January 2004.

‘Safeguarding’ environment

The inquiry was launched after Perth and Kinross Council decided to oppose the development.

Deputy Enterprise Minister Allan Wilson said Scotland was making good progress towards the target of generating 40% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

However, he added: “Our aim remains to ensure that we take advantage of Scotland’s extensive renewables potential while safeguarding our natural heritage.

“The circumstances must be right for all new renewable energy developments.”

Perth and Kinross Council declined to comment on the decision, saying it had yet to receive official notification from the executive.

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