- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Wind farms increase risk of flooding

Tanya McLaren reports (“Flood prevention scheme plans are revealed”, “Gazette”, May 14) that “detailed plans of the (flood prevention) scheme have just been submitted to Moray Council by the Moray Flood Alleviation team”.

While considerable detail was given concerning flood mitigation measures in the Forres area, no mention was made of the increased risk of the Findhorn flooding should the Moray and Highland councils continue to support the development of wind farms on the Dava Moor, the heart of the catchment of the Findhorn. Right now there are seven wind farms at varying stages of development on the Dava Moor, the first at Berry Burn, south of Forres on the Altyre Estate.

Dependent on drying out peatland (which acts as natural sponge when left undisturbed) in order to build the massive foundations (each requiring around 1000 tons of cement on which stand the 300ft. turbines), wind farm developers must first drain off the peatland, effectively destroying the peat’s natural capacity to retain water. The result is increased flash flooding, the very result the Moray Flood Alleviation team and Forres residents want to avoid! Anglers up and down the river, are also aware of the potential damage to spawning areas and river banks caused by flooding.

Until now, the fishery of the Findhorn has been protected by riparian owners sitting on the Findhorn District Fishery Board. But now that the majority of members of the Board have wind farm interests in the Findhorn catchment – a conflict of interest recognised by the Board – the Forres Angling Association, (representing upwards of 300 anglers and also represented on Board), as a precautionary measure, is seeking an independent Public Enquiry into the Berry Burn wind farm’s impact on the Findhorn.

Given that Berry Burn is but the first of seven wind farms to impact the Findhorn catchment, the source of Forres’ flood water, residents of Forres, especially the Moray Flood Alleviation team are urged to object to wind farms in the Findhorn catchment by contacting the Moray Council with a request to hold a Public Enquiry into the industrialisation of the Findhorn catchment and the Dava Moor by seven wind farms, increasing the flood risk to Forres.

Objections to Berry Burn wind farm, Altyre Estate – the first of seven industrial developments on the Dava Moor-Findhorn catchment – with a request for a Public Enquiry – can be made direct to: Paul Smith, The Scottish Government, Consents & Energy Unit, 5 Cadogan Street, Glasgow G2 6AT or by email: Energyconsents@Scotland.gsi.gov.uk – Yours etc,

JAMES STUART, Dunphail, Moray.

Forres Gazette

4 June 2008