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Donald Trump challenge to Aberdeenshire wind farm to begin  

Credit:  BBC News | 12 November 2013 | www.bbc.co.uk ~~

Donald Trump’s legal challenge against plans for an offshore wind farm near his Aberdeenshire golf resort is due to get under way at the Court of Session.

During a four-day hearing, the US tycoon will attempt to overturn the Scottish government’s decision to approve the 11-turbine project.

The developer, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, has said the turbines could power as many as 49,000 homes.

Mr Trump said they would spoil the sea view for guests at his Menie resort.

He has shelved plans for a hotel, holiday homes and a residential village while the row goes on.

Scottish Ministers granted approval for the wind farm on 26 March.

A petition lodged by Trump International Golf Links and the Trump Organisation earlier this year asked the Edinburgh court to declare that the decision was unlawful.

It also challenged the decision not to hold a public inquiry into the project in Aberdeen Bay.

Last month, the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre project was dealt a blow when Aberdeenshire Council turned down a planning application for a substation at Blackdog, which would channel power from the turbines.

Senior members of Mr Trump’s executive team, including his son Donald Trump Jr and George Sorial, arrived in Edinburgh on Monday.

In a statement, the organisation said: “We welcome the opportunity to present our case before the Court of Session.”

Turbine height

A Scottish government spokeswoman said it was “committed to the successful and sustainable development of an offshore wind sector”.

She added: “It is not appropriate for the Scottish government to comment on ongoing legal proceedings.”

The offshore scheme was put together by Vattenfall Wind Power and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.

According to the group, the turbines will have an installed capacity of up to 100MW and would be capable of yielding, on average, enough electricity to power 68,000 UK households each year.

A change to the application in August last year increased the proposed height of some turbines, prompting further anger from Mr Trump.

The maximum height would increase by 3.5m (11ft) to 198.5m (651ft), with the maximum radius of the turbine blades increased by up to 11m (36ft).

These turbines would be placed furthest from shore. Closer to shore, the maximum height would decrease from 195m (639ft) to 180.5m (592ft).

In May, majority shareholder Vattenfall announced it was paring back investment in the scheme, calling on potential investors to realise the £230m cost.

At the time the firm had invested about £5m.

Lang Banks, director of environmental group WWF Scotland, said: “It’s depressing to think that Donald Trump has nothing better to do than use his vast wealth to try and undermine Scotland’s aim of becoming a cleaner, greener, job-creating nation.

“We hope that, in the end, the court agrees that giving the go-ahead to this development was the right decision.

“Scotland is home to a quarter of Europe’s offshore wind resource. Studies estimate that Scotland’s offshore wind industry could create 28,000 jobs by 2020 and contribute over £7bn of investment to the economy.

“It would be a great pity if Donald Trump was in any way responsible for frustrating Scotland’s ambition to generate clean power and green jobs.”

Source:  BBC News | 12 November 2013 | www.bbc.co.uk

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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