- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Another windfarm for the Glenkens

Another massive windfarm is being planned for the Stewartry.

Energy giants E.ON have unveiled plans for as many as 30 turbines on Quantans Hill near Carsphairn.

And they say the development could generate £450,000 for the local community each year.

The announcement takes the number of windfarms currently being developed in the Glenkens to seven, with two more already in operation, and could lead to more than 150 turbines populating the area.

Keith Mycock of windfarm pressure group Turbine Watch 312 believes the situation is now out of control.

He said: “Dumfries and Galloway already has applications for 800 plus wind turbines over 50m high at various stages in the planning system.

“Now there is a further addition for up to 30 125m turbines at Quantans Hill.

“This site will be just 1.3km away from Carsphairn and could be a considerable imposition on the community, even with the money they might receive for hosting such a development.

“TW312 has been monitoring the rapid increase in turbine applications and believes that the current situation is totally out of hand.”

E.ON, which has been carrying out a public consultation exercise in recent weeks, say the scheme could generate as much as 90 megawatts, enough electricity to power more than 40,000 homes.

In return they are pledging to create a community fund worth a minimum of £5,000 per megawatt generated per year – potentially worth £450,000 in total.

E.ON project development manager Nick Taylor said: “We think Quantans Hill is a great place for a windfarm – it’s very windy, has good road access and access to the local power network.

“We’re a very experienced and responsible developer and will ensure that local people have their views considered throughout the development of this windfarm.”

But Alison Chapman of Galloway Landscape and Renewable Energy (GLARE) disagrees.

She said: “The proposal at Carsphairn for 30 turbines above the village on Quantans Hill is more than inappropriate. It would dominate the village and the landscape surrounding the A713.

“The lifeblood of our local economy is the value visitors place on our landscape and natural and cultural heritage. Carsphairn has embodied its history in the heritage centre and local business draws on the tourists who pass along the tourist route to Ayr asking them to bide a while and enjoy one of the finest views in Scotland.”

The Glenkens is currently home to two windfarms, both of which are near Carsphairn.

Windy Standard consists of 36 turbines with Wether Hill using 14.

Six others, not including Quantans Hill, are at various stages of the planning process.

Proposals for a 23 turbine scheme at Blackcraig were given the go ahead by the Scottish Government earlier this year, while the nearby 17 turbine Margree scheme is still the subject of delays.

The other schemes are:

a five turbine plan at Knockman, Dalry;

21 turbines for Loch Hill, Dalry;

up to 24 at Benshinnie, Parton.

Detailed proposals of a windfarm at South Kyle in Ayrshire have not been unveiled but parts of it will cross into the Stewartry.

According to Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown concerns about the number of turbines are justified.

He said: “Like most people, I think wind energy has an important part to play in a balanced energy policy.

“But local people are understandably concerned about the sheer number of wind turbines going up in Dumfries and Galloway.”

He added: “There is an anger that our region seems to be getting far more than our fair share of Scotland’s windfarms.

“Renewable energy is a huge potential industry for us but we must remember that tourism brings in millions of pounds and employs hundreds of people in our region.

“One of the main reasons people visit is to see our stunning scenery and it’s crucial to our tourism industry that we don’t scar our landscape with too many turbines or windfarms in poorly planned locations.”