A petition has been launched against an £8 million plan to install two 400ft wind turbines in Montrose.
The turbines – taller than the ones at the Michelin tyre plant in Dundee – are proposed for the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) site at Cobden Street.
The firm says the turbines would generate enough electricity to make the site self-sufficient and deliver excess to the National Grid, helping GSK achieve its ambition of a “carbon neutral” site.
But a petition launched on the GoPetition website (link) on Friday, under the name Ferryden, opposes the scheme on the grounds that the turbines would “spoil the skyline” and would be too close to residential areas.
The petition has gathered 40 signatures and the link to the site is circulated on Facebook.
The application could go to Angus Council towards the end of this year but a determining factor in that is that GSK has to have completed a year’s worth of environmental impact assessments and track a 12-month cycle of migratory birds and their flight paths.
It also needs to collect wind data over a year and has a meteorological mast on site gathering information.
All of that will come to a conclusion at the end of this year. Once it has that information it can make a formal application.
The pharmaceutical giant is to hold a public consultation meeting in the Links Hotel on September 15, when the company will share details of the proposal.
A spokesman for GSK said that if all went to plan the turbines would be operating on site in 2013, producing six megawatts of electricity – enough to power the equivalent of 3000 homes.
The spokesman said the consultation meeting would offer local people the chance to “help shape GSK’s plans.” It will feature background information, artists’ impressions of the turbines and project team members will be present to answer questions.
The proposed turbines would be 10 metres taller than the turbines at Michelin, which stand 120 metres high from the ground to the blade tip.
A lot of work has also been going on to help decide exactly what size and type of turbine would be best for the site.
A spokesman said: “We have a bit to go but early indications are that the wind across the site is viable for a couple of wind turbines.
“If all goes according to plan, what GSK would like to do is erect two turbines each capable of generating up to three megawatts of electricity.
“The scheme would generate electricity greater than the site’s immediate needs. All of the electricity would go in to a local network and any surplus that GSK would generate over and above its immediate needs to operate the site offsets the carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas, which the combined heat and power unit currently operating on the site produces.
“It will have to continue to operate because it generates steam, which is vital to the manufacturing process which GSK has on site.
“The company will have to continue to run the combined heat and power unit that burns natural gas, that gives off carbon dioxide.
“By generating more electricity from wind power you offset the carbon dioxide and ultimately you get to a position where you have the equivalent of nil carbon dioxide footprint on the site.
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