Plans by Peterhead harbour bosses to erect two massive quayside wind turbines that would tower over the historic port have moved a significant step forward.
Peterhead Port Authority wants to erect a pair of 330ft masts on vacant industrial land at the town’s Keith Inch and Green Hill.
The devices would be three times the size of the port’s existing shiplift building and would generate enough electricity to power thousands of homes.
A planning application for the turbines has been tabled with Aberdeenshire Council.
Chief executive John Wallace said last night that the proposal would be a major boost to the local economy and was crucial to future harbour developments.
He said: “I see the wind as a customer which has blown through the harbour for years, but has never stopped and never pays.
“We have the technology to harness this vital resource and use it to our advantage.”
Mr Wallace added Peterhead has a “duty” to reduce its carbon footprint.
“I really see this as a win-win situation for the town,” he added. “Of course, some people will have concerns about the proposal.”
Mr Wallace said steps would be taken to tackle two issues already raised by the public – shadow flicker and noise.
“The turbines would be Enercon’s gearless model which is slightly more expensive but much quieter,” he added.
“They would also be fitted with a sensor which would shut the turbines down if the shadow flicker was thought to be causing a problem.
“We are listening to the views of local people and would encourage feedback.”
The public has until April 21 to comment on the application before it is considered by local authority officials. If the £6million scheme wins the backing of councillors, the 2.3MW turbines could be in place by autumn next year.
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.
After the project’s costs are recovered, the turbines are expected to generate an annual net revenue of £750,000 by selling power to the national grid.
Mr Wallace said some of the profits would be pumped into a trust to support ventures including Peterhead Projects and the community council.
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