May 17, 2011

Wind Prospect pledges to restrict Ochil Hill wind farms

By Mark Mackay, The Courier, 16 May 2011

The developer behind plans to double the number of turbines on a wind farm site in the Ochil Hills has pledged it will not seek to build elsewhere in the immediate area.

Burnfoot Hill Wind Farm has been operating and exporting electricity for the past six months after planning permission was granted in 2007.

Having seen the success of the scheme, Edinburgh-based Wind Prospect believes there is scope for a significant expansion of the site and has suggested up to 22 additional turbines could be installed.

The developer is running public exhibitions on May 17 and on Thursday 19 to let residents of neighbouring communities in Kinross-shire and Clackmannanshire find out more about the proposals.

Ahead of the meetings, Wind Prospect has told the community that, following a successful planning bid for the new 102-metre high turbines, it will look to restrict the building of further wind farms in the Ochil Hills.

Sarah Dooley is the development manager for the project and was part of the team that developed the existing wind farm.

She said, “Our public exhibitions are an opportunity for residents to ask questions about the project in person, in an open and informal environment.

“We had a positive response to our efforts during the development and the subsequent construction of the existing wind farm and we are keen to maintain this excellent level of local support.

“Burnfoot Hill Wind Farm has been successfully generating green electricity for more than six months. During this time it has generated enough electricity to power approximately 20,000 homes and is actually more productive than was originally anticipated.

“It has become clear that there is potential to increase this output by considering developing the areas around the existing site.

“While renewable energy forms a vital part of the UK’s energy mix, it is our duty as responsible developers to ensure close liaison with the local community and to make sure that we strike the right balance.

“As part of this balance, following the development of these proposed extensions, we do not intend to look at any further wind farms in this immediate area.”

The two public exhibitions will be attended by Wind Prospect staff, who will answer questions and explain the plans with the aid of computer-generated photo-montages that will offer an idea of how the new turbines would look.

They take place at the Tillicoultry Community Centre on May 17 between 3.30pm and 7.30pm, and at Blackford Village Hall on Thursday May 19 between 3pm and 7pm.

URL to article: