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Cowdenbeath quarry applies to erect 100m wind turbine  

Credit:  By Craig Smith, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 13 December 2011 ~~

A Fife quarry has been earmarked as the potential site for a 100m wind turbine.

Collier Quarrying Group, a major employer in the region, has submitted an application to erect the single 2MW wind turbine at Goathill Quarry near Cowdenbeath after months of environmental survey.

The company says the turbine would provide a direct supply of energy and negate the need for diesel generators used at the hard rock quarry.

It is also likely to give the company ”security and stability” in relation to energy costs, according to blueprints submitted this week.

Scottish ministers are understood to be looking at the finer details of the plans this month, specifically in relation to the development’s impact on the environment, but a decision is expected to be made by Fife councillors in the spring.

The scheme is expected to have an operational life of around 25 years.

The development would either be refurbished or decommissioned to return the site to its former use afterwards.

Plans lodged with Fife Council by operators Wind Direct acknowledge there is likely to be a number of effects on the site at Easter Bucklyvie, near Mossmorran, and on the surrounding environment, but suggest the positives from the development would outweigh the negatives.

The plans state: ”It should be noted that all onshore wind turbine developments lead to significant landscape and visual effects and that significant effects are not necessarily unacceptable.

”The change arising from a proposed development may engender positive or negative responses depending on individual perceptions regarding the merits of wind energy development.”

They add: ”The same scheme may be seen by some as attractive, acceptable and contributing to the well-being of the natural environment, while others may take a negative stance regarding the wind turbines as unattractive and unacceptable.”

Wind Direct’s environmental statement adds that significant cumulative landscape and visual effects would be ”localised in extent”, and considers that they would be acceptable.

It states: ”Potentially significant landscape and visual effects would be locally concentrated, and it is considered that these effects are acceptable when balanced with the environmental and social benefits of renewable energy which would result from this development.”

The Collier group began in 2001, when director Duncan Collier was a sole trader with one truck.

It has grown to a fleet of over 10 vehicles and the company obtained planning consent to quarry at Bucklyvie for eight million tonnes of quartz dolorite.

As well as the quarry, the group has an extensive haulage fleet and a waste recycling centre at Redcraigs in Dunfermline.

With the plans now lodged with the council, Scottish Government officials are considering Wind Direct’s environmental assessment and will respond by the end of the month.

Transport Scotland has also considered the turbine plans and have given the Collier Group the green light, suggesting the percentage increase in traffic on the trunk road network as a result of the development would be ”minimal”.

Source:  By Craig Smith, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 13 December 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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