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Wind farm will not help the Cabrach

I read with some sadness Chris Saunderson’s article about the regeneration of the Cabrach and the hopes of a very small number of people that a giant wind farm at Dorenell will help.

I played only a very minor role in the recent survey about the viability of the Cabrach community, but my research revealed some simple truths. In 1846 the population was 827 and today, 162 years later, it is less than 60. The reason for this decline is obvious; you only need drive up the A941 to Rhynie to realise that only the very hardy could survive the remoteness, the punishing weather and not insignificant cost of living up there.

The Cabrach scenery has been described as breathtaking, and the wanton destruction of one of Moray’s last wildernesses by an industrial wind farm will not reverse the irreversible. Even the SNP’s “vote-buying” decision to over-rule Moray Council regarding the closure of Cabrach School will have little effect.

As to the wind farm application itself – 59 giant turbines 90 feet taller than Big Ben stuck on top of a 2000-foot hill in the middle of an “area of great landscape value”. If this wind farm was built, at current prices, it would gross approximately £60 million per annum. Of this, £30 million would be subsidy paid for by us, the consumers.

The developers, Infinergy, have had the temerity to offer a “bribe” – because that is precisely what community funding is – of £350,000 per annum, which is an insulting 0.6% of their potential gross income. The irony is that the people receiving this funding will in fact be financing it themselves, along with the rest of us suckers.

Like all the other wind farms that have been built in this area, this one would not supply any local houses with electricity.

I almost forgot; the land-owner, Mr Christopher Moran, using very conservative figures, is likely to receive about £3 million a year in rental, paid for by us. Incidentally, ‘Googling’ both him and Infinergy produces some interesting results.

Just in case your ‘green’ readers are leaping up and down ranting about climate change, this wind farm, if built, would reduce global levels of Co2 by about 0.0008%.

Watching a programme about China on TV really brought home the disingenuous claims by the developers and the Government about reducing carbon emissions. Shanghai has a population of 20 million, and they have 17 power stations just to keep the lights on. In addition, China is building coal-fired power stations at the rate of two per month.

It is inconceivable that we are being told by the EU, supported by the so-called Scottish Government, that we have to destroy large areas of Scotland in order to reach unachievable targets which will make absolutely no difference to climate change anyway. – Yours etc,

Bob Graham, Craigsview, Inchberry, Orton.

The Northern Scot

27 June 2008