March 4, 2011

Firm sounds out Fife Council over 85-metre wind turbines

Siew Peng Lee, Dunfermline Press, 4 March 2011

A wind energy company has put in a pre-application screening notice for three wind turbines near Steelend.

The scoping exercise, by Edinburgh-based Locogen Ltd, is for three medium-scale turbines – which could be up to 85 metres in height – at Cowdens Farm, Dunduff.

Ian McLean, Locogen’s wind projects manager, explained that rather than submitting a full application, the company was undertaking an initial stakeholder consultation.

He said, “We’ll get the views of the council as and how to proceed, talk to Scottish Natural Heritage, discuss with telecoms, aviation and the MoD before making a decision to proceed with a full application.

“It’s so we can understand the full extent of concerns and see if it’s an appropriate site.”

No information was provided about the size of the site but Mr McLean said the turbines could be anywhere between 50-85m.

He added, “That’s from the base to the tip of the blade at the highest point.

“But that can change depending on what the responses are like from the council.

“It’s something that’s up in the air at the moment as to what size it would be.

“In terms of visual impact and noise that would be something that would be assessed by the council.

“They’ll be providing feedback as to whether it’s going to be too big for the area and any other concerns.”

He said community consultation was “not something that we would undertake at this stage”, adding, “It’s something that we would do further down when we know what we’re doing there.

“It may be that the eventual development may differ from what we’ve submitted.”

Regarding what the turbines would be used for, he said, “For the larger end of what we’re looking at it would be for export to the national grid but, smaller scale, it would be for use on the site.”

He expected it would be a “two-year process” between now and the time the turbines went up if the proposal went ahead.

He said, “It’ll be three months before we hear back from all the stakeholders and have a better understanding but until then it’s very difficult to be sure of anything.

“It could be that someone comes back with an issue that warrants that we can’t do it.”

John Crane, vice-chair of Saline and Steelend Community Council, voiced his concerns.

He said, “Those are big turbines and we would have to look at that carefully if it comes up.

“The ones that we have in farms around here are smaller, about 15m, but 50-85m is really big.”

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