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Abercairney Estate launches new windfarm bid — six years after original proposal was rejected  

Credit:  By Alan Richardson, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 21 September 2011 ~~

Plans have emerged for a multi-million-pound windfarm on a main Perthshire tourist route.

Abercairney Estate near Crieff has revived its interest in the renewable energy field after previous plans for a large-scale development were thrown out.

It has earmarked a site at what it calls Mull Hill, off the A822 road to Dunkeld to the north of Crieff at the gateway to the Sma’ Glen, for nine turbines.

Again teaming up with English firm Force 9 Energy, the project is a scaled-down version of the Abercairney windfarm project, which went all the way to a public inquiry in 2005.

In planning terms, the scheme is in its infancy, with an application to site a meteorological mast on the site having just been placed before Perth and Kinross Council planners.

Backers say that it would deliver up to 22.5 megawatts of energy per year, enough to power around 11,300 homes.

Abercairney owner William Moray said the £22.5 million plan is vital for the estate’s prospects.

He said: ”Abercairney is a working estate and the proposal is part of a comprehensive range of measures that would help fund other environmental and conservation projects, including work to revitalise habitat for wild game and other wildlife and refurbishments to buildings on the estate to help promote local tourism.”

Force 9’s managing director David Butterworth said: ”The Mull Hill windfarm … will bring economic benefits to the region, including employment opportunities.

”A community fund will also be set up which, based on the current proposal, could put more than £1.1 million back into the community over the 25-year lifetime of the project.

”Alongside the economic benefits the project would bring to the region, the proposal would also help the Scottish Government to meet its renewable obligations to cut its dependence on fossil fuels.”

The original Abercairney application emerged in 2003 in the first rush for windfarms in Perthshire.

Featuring 24 turbines, it was turned down by the council and again by the Scottish Government following a public inquiry.

Critics said it could have an adverse effect on tourism because many visitors come to the area specifically for its unspoilt wild landscape.

The new configuration benefits from better screening and is confined to just one part of the estate rather than in clusters, according to Force 9.

Source:  By Alan Richardson, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 21 September 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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