January 3, 2012

GlaxoSmithKline powers ahead with plans for wind turbines

By Rachel Cooper, The Telegraph, www.telegraph.co.uk 1 January 2012

GlaxoSmithKline is pressing ahead with plans to erect two wind turbines at its Montrose plant in the face of opposition from local residents.

Britain’s biggest drug-maker hopes to place two 400-ft wind turbines at the Scottish site and this month submitted its plans to Angus Council.

Erecting the turbines will allow GSK to generate energy to power the Montrose plant, where the company makes ingredients for products such as its respiratory medicines. Any excess power generated would be sold back to the National Grid.

However, the £8m project has faced opposition, with a petition against the turbines attracting more than 200 signatures and a ‘No Way GSK’ campaign website established.

A spokesman for No Way GSK said they were not against green energy, but were “concerned with regard to the health and safety issue, noise, shadow flicker and the violation of our skyline”.

Richard Parmenter, Glaxo’s head of environment and sustainability, said the project was now in the planning process and whether the turbines go ahead will be decided by the authorities.

“GSK would really like to see those turbines installed because we think it’s a very good thing for the site. It gives it a supply of renewable energy, allows it a more secure, more stable price, and it’s a very good thing to build that business upon,” he added.

“Those living locally may have certain objections we will do everything we can to listen to and where there are concerns take them into account and allay them,” he said.

GSK hopes Angus Council will decide on its plans within three to five months. Alongside the wind turbines, GSK has been awarded a lease from the Crown Estates to use a portion of the sea bed near Montrose to site 15 small marine turbines, which would also help power the site.

The plans are part of GSK’s efforts to limit its environmental impact through steps such as using more modern energy-efficient equipment. Last year, the company reduced its carbon emissions by 5pc and cut back its water usage by 5pc.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/01/03/glaxosmithkline-powers-ahead-with-plans-for-wind-turbines/