Plans have been unveiled for a £90 million windfarm project near Parton.
The Benshinnie development could see as many as two dozen, 125 metre high turbines generating 72 megawatts of electricity.
Fife-based Burcote Wind are behind the scheme and aim to put more than £5 million of “tangible benefits” into the local community during the farm’s lifetime.
But Galloway Landscape and Renewable Energy’s (GLARE) initial reaction to the proposals was one of concern.
Representatives of Burcote Wind spoke to local community councils and organisations this week outlining the nominal plans for Benshinnie, although it will be next summer at the earliest before a planning application is made.
In its current configuration the windfarm would generate a total of 72 megawatts with the whole scheme costing £90 million, which would cover turbine purchase and construction.
Burcote Wind say it would power some 53,000 homes – the equivalent of around three quarters of Dumfries and Galloway – and offset around 107,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
And they aim to create a community benefit fund for local groups worth up to £3,000 a year for every megawatt generated – as much as £216,000.
Burcote Wind chairman Graham Brown said: “Our proposal at Benshinnie has the potential to power the equivalent of three quarters of all the homes in Dumfries and Galloway and make a significant contribution to Scotland’s ambitious national target to produce 100 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2020.
“But we’re very clear that we want the local community to see tangible benefits from having a windfarm in their area, which is why we’re proposing a community benefit fund worth around £5.4 million over the lifetime of the windfarm.
“We know that windfarm developments can be a sensitive issue, which is why we’re starting our dialogue with the local community now – well in advance of any planning application.”
The scheme being planned for Benshinnie features a similar number and size of turbines to the controversial Blackcraig development.
GLARE was set up in late 2004 to oppose those proposals.
The organisation’s Alison Chapman said: “GLARE will examine the proposal in depth in due course but at first sight it seems unlikely that there can be any merit at all in industrialisation of the area around Parton or Loch Ken.
“We will publish our concerns on our website www.glare.org.uk and invite all residents and friends of the area to contribute to the debate.”
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