CATHKIN Braes on the edge of Glasgow is likely to be the site of Britain’s first council-run wind farm.
In February, the city council revealed plans for a ¬£15million wind park with five turbines which would power all the city’s street lights.
Officials launched a detailed investigation into possible sites and have opted for Cathkin Braes.
The site is also where the Castlemilk and Carmunnock Community Windpark Trust wants to build its own project.
It has spent six years and ¬£250,000 drawing up a scheme with the aim of earning substantial profits from the sale of electricity which would be ploughed back into the community.
And the local authority’s executive committee has agreed to a joint scheme with the trust.
The council would provide the land and the ¬£2.6m cost of erecting a single “space age” turbine which would be on trial for a year.
It would also operate and own the operation but the trust would get a share of the saving in power bills that would be invested in the area.
However, it may take some time before the project is running at its full potential.
Councillor Ruth Simpson, executive member for land and environment, said: “The waiting list for turbines in the UK is three years from the time of ordering. This due to a backlog of UK and international orders already in the pipeline.”
According to the British Wind Energy Association, 3225 turbines are at the planning stage and a further 1533 have planning permission.
All 4758 would have to be built before Glasgow’s order was processed.
But the Glasgow trust has struck a deal with a firm which wants to trial a new advanced turbine and a planning application for permission to erect is ready to be lodged.
If the go-ahead is given, it would be in place by the end of the year.
Council bosses looked at a range of possible sites for the wind farm and came up with Cathkin Braes, Netherton Braes and Robroyston.
Ms Simpson said: “As the council owns Cathkin Braes Park, an opportunity has been identified to collaborate with the trust to finance, deliver, own and operate a wind park at Cathkin Braes.
“It would offer a means to early delivery of a wind park due to work having already been carried out by the trust, the likelihood of planning consent and the availability of a turbine already secured by the trust.”
It is estimated the turbine would earn the council ¬£123,000 a year over the decade in which the ¬£2.6m cost is paid off and then ¬£470,000 a year.
The trust development manager Margo Smith said: “The trust is happy to start negotiations to come to a mutual agreement so we can take the project forward.
“Our main aim is to maximise the financial benefit from the project for the local community.”
by Vivienne Nicoll
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