March 2, 2012

Dodd Hill proposals

Forfar Dispatch, 2 march 2012

The Forfar area could be set for a windfarm following proposals for such a set-up at Dodd Hill.

Welsh company West Coast Energy intend to develop a five turbine wind farm near Tealing. Each turbine would have an installed capacity of up to 2.5MW, giving a total capacity of 12.5MW for the site.

This would generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of the average domestic needs of about 7,000 homes.

The maximum height of the turbines will be 126m with the tower height at 80m and blade length at 46m. If approved, the farm will offset around 350,000 tonnes of CO2 over its 25 year life span.

The energy company is currently exploring offering a 10 per cent share of the profits from the scheme with the surrounding communities.

A series of public exhibitions will be held in March, and following this, discussion with the local community regarding the Dodd Hill Community Benefit will be required.

Steve Salt, planning and development director of West Coast Energy, said: “We welcome the opportunity to meet with members of the Angus community, and provide more details on the proposals for Dodd Hill wind farm. Or proposals in Angus stand to benefit both from local communities and the wider Angus area, and we are particularly pleased with the reaction from partner organisations such as Angus College and the Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce since announcing our applications in the area.

“The Dodd Hill site benefits from a high wind resource making it ideally placed for a five turbine scheme. West Coast Energy aim to deliver a small, high quality wind farm development with a focus on community involvement.

“As will all our wind farm developments, West Coast Energy will be looking to create a purposeful and effective dialogue with the local community at an early stage in the proceedings in order that the community view is taken into account as the proposals move forward,”

The move is not coming without some controversy as locals were quick to share their opinions.

Bernard Ferrie said: “It will never supply the required energy, we would be better using water and building more hydro electric plants. Which, if built correctly, can supply their own pumps to re-pump the water to use again and again. They would also not require switching off because it is to windy.”

Mark Porter on the other hand took the view that windfarms may be one of our only options, he said: “Windfarms are in no way appealing, they add nothing to the landscape and at times it seems we are being over run by them, but what’s the alternatives? We will always need power, and the demand is increasing year on year. No matter how we get it its always going to have an impact, how long can we depend on coal?

“Nuclear Power Stations are coming to their natural end and as our neighbours in Caithness are finding out this isn’t without risks with the recent discoveries along their beaches.

“We have a lot of Hydro Electric Power, but the dams built destroyed villages and whole communities at a time, turned our great rivers like the Garry and Tummel into trickles that are now controlled by dam release programmes to flood the river for sports.

“If we like it or not the only practical way forward is wind and tidal programs and developing these along with solar energy.”

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