November 22, 2011

Perthshire windfarm proposal scaled down

The Courier, 22 November 2011

ScottishPower Renewables has cut the scale of a proposed £15m windfarm in Perthshire after community concerns.

The firm, which is part of the Spanish-based Iberdrola Group, said as a result of consultation with the community in June it hoped to construct seven wind turbines on the Bamff estate north west of Alyth instead of the nine originally envisaged.

The changes would see the capital outlay on the project, which has still to go through the planning process, reduced from approximately £18m to around £15m and overall generating capacity drop from 18MW to around 14MW – enough to power around 8,000 homes.

The company said that it had targeted Bamff because of its good average wind speeds, proximity to a potential grid connection point and accessibility for construction traffic.

A spokesperson for ScottishPower Renewables said yesterday: “Taking into account the constraints that have been identified to date, the area of land available, and comments received from the local communities, the proposed generating capacity of the windfarm has been established as approximately 14 megawatts, which is enough clean, green energy to power over 8,000 homes.

“This is based on our proposed reduced scheme of seven turbines, from our previous scheme of nine turbines, and an established turbine height of 107m from the base to the blade tip at its highest point.

“As a general rule of thumb it is assumed that costs to build a windfarm are around £2m per turbine at today’s rate.

“This figure includes turbine manufacture, its delivery, its installation, as well as any infrastructure costs associated with the formation of any access tracks.

“It also includes the energisation of the turbine, which would then allow it to export electricity to the grid.

“It is estimated this cost is repaid within four to five years of operation.”

The public will get their opportunity to scrutinise the revised plans during information days at Kilry and Alyth town halls on December 6 and 7.

Perth-based SSE is developing a 10MW hydro power scheme on agricultural land around 4km east of Alyth.

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