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West Coast Energy reveals plan for seven-turbine wind farm between Arbroath and Carnoustie  

Credit:  By Graeme Bletcher, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 29 June 2011 ~~

Proposals have been unveiled for a £21 million wind farm between Arbroath and Carnoustie.

North Wales firm West Coast Energy plans seven 126m turbines for operational farmland at Corse Hill, near Hatton Farm and Netherkelly Farm.

The turbines would be around the same height to the vertical blade tip as the two at the Michelin plant at Baldovie in Dundee, and would be clearly visible from the A92 dual carriageway.

Each of the machines would have a 2.5 megawatt capacity, while the wind farm as a whole could generate up to 17.5MW.

One of the structures would be designated as a “community turbine,” included in the development solely to provide funding for projects in the area.

It is expected between £75,000 and £100,000 could be produced per year for initiatives in Arbroath and Carnoustie, with that rising to between £300,000 and £400,000 when the wind farm was fully paid off.

Of the £21 million spent on the six-month build, an estimated £4.2 milllion would be ploughed into the local economy through the use of contractors, engineers and area materials.

Although the space being leased for the development is 222 hectares, only 2.2 hectares would be built on for the turbine field.

A meteorological mast has been in place at the site for the last 18 months to gather weather data, including the rate of wind flow to be harnessed. Access would be taken from the A92 via the road that leads to the nearby Hatton Wastewater Treatment Works.

The firm says it has carried out “extensive” environmental impact studies and claims there are little or no issues to consider in terms of disruption to animal or plant life. There are two buildings listed as ancient monuments that must be taken into account and a survey has shown there is a low number of bats.

Farming has been carried out on the surrounding land for several years and would continue after the construction phase.

An application could be submitted to Angus Council as early as the autumn, with work potentially beginning before the end of next year if permission is granted.

A meeting with community representatives was held at Angus College in Arbroath on Tuesday night.

Planning and development director Stephen Salt and senior planning and development manager Samantha Crosby gave a rundown on the proposals.

Mrs Crosby said, “West Coast Energy aim to deliver a small, high-quality wind farm development in Angus, with a focus on community involvement. As with all our wind farm developments, we will be looking to create a purposeful and effective dialogue with the local community at an early stage in the proceedings, in order that the community view is taken into account as the proposals move forward.

“We will be able to provide more detailed information on the seven-turbine development at our public exhibitions later in July and will be extending this invite to members of the public who would like to find out more about both us as a company and our proposals for Corse Hill.

“We will be announcing the details of the public exhibitions in due course and hope that the community will attend to learn more.”

Mr Salt said the process was at a “very early stage” and stressed the importance of getting feedback from residents and other interested parties, before submitting a planning application.

“On this project we are proposing a community turbine from which the community would receive the net benefit,” he said. “It is something we have done at a number of sites in Scotland and the amount would be based upon the megawatts of the whole site rather than just the one turbine.

“We are starting to talk to the community and would eventually be looking for a partnership body to represent the interests of both towns.

“In terms of the environmental impact there are not many issues. It is more likely there may be an impact in terms of the visibility of the turbines.

“It has to be expected that a lot of people are going to have different views.”

West Coast Energy has delivered similar projects and has secured planning permission for more than 300MW of wind power generation in Scotland since it was established in 1996.

Source:  By Graeme Bletcher, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 29 June 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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