North-east harbour chiefs have unveiled ambitious plans for a multimillion-pound wind turbine project.
The scheme would see two 330ft turbines towering over Peterhead’s Keith Inch.
They would be about three times the height of the town’s shiplift building – where vessels are repaired and maintained – and generate enough electricity to power thousands of homes.
Peterhead Port Authority (PPA) will be holding a public exhibition next week to give locals the chance to see the proposals for themselves.
An application for planning permission will then be finalised and submitted to Aberdeenshire Council.
If the £6million scheme wins the backing of councillors, the 2.3MW turbines could be in place by autumn 2012.
The plan is part of the port authority’s attempts to diversify and tap into the renewables industry, particularly the offshore wind sector.
According to Scotland’s National Renewables Infrastructure Plan, Peterhead is one of the best locations for a wind turbine project.
Last night, PPA chief executive John Wallace urged locals to attend the exhibition at the town’s Palace Hotel on Monday from 5-8pm.
He said: “After significant research into the feasibility of installing two wind turbines at Peterhead Port, we’re delighted to be hosting this event.
“It will give the public the chance to get a detailed insight into the major benefits these turbines could bring to the harbour and the wider community.”
The port authority’s chief financial officer, Stephen Paterson, added: “We all know how windy Peterhead can be and this provides an excellent opportunity to utilise the natural wind resource which is available at the harbour.
“The project will provide us with clean and sustainable energy and reduce the port’s carbon footprint. In addition, the turbines will generate a valuable income stream that can be reinvested for the benefit of current and future port stakeholders.”
The harbour authority completed work recently on the £33.5million Smith Embankment – a new 650ft quay and 330ft breakwater.
It is aimed at meeting the demands of the pelagic fleet, which fishes for herring, mackerel and other oily fish. Other industries, including subsea engineering and the renewable energy sector, are also expected to benefit.
The project, which will be launched officially by First Minister Alex Salmond in March, received £5million from the Scottish Government and European Fisheries Fund.
The development is expected to create up to 60 jobs and pump about £12million into the local economy each year.
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