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Operators of world’s largest turbine urged to improve relations with Fife community  

Credit:  By Michael Alexander | The Courier | 4 March 2014 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

An anti-windfarm campaign group is calling on Samsung Heavy Industries to improve its community engagement.

The company left the community in the dark over a breakdown of its 196-metre turbine at Methil docks and the group has offered to act as an “honest broker” in community benefit negotiations.

Scotland Against Spin chairman and Fife resident Graham Lang welcomed news that politicians had acknowledged the world’s largest experimental offshore turbine on their doorstep was a worry to many Methil residents.

He said: “There is a tendency for politicians in Holyrood and Westminster to take all the hype about renewable energy at face value. When you have to live cheek by jowl with turbines, the reality is rather different.

“When Lindsay Roy MP and Claire Baker MSP speak to Samsung Heavy Industries, perhaps they could also find out what has happened to the community benefit offer which the Scottish Government recommends all onshore wind developments make.

“By connecting the turbine to the grid, Samsung is clearly expecting to sell electricity and collect the 200% subsidy which offshore wind turbines collect.

“Since the Scottish Government and Scottish Renewables both recommend £5,000 per MW as a minimum for onshore wind turbines, Samsung’s starting-point should be at least double this. Scotland Against Spin … would be happy to act as an honest broker if Samsung are willing to come to the table.

“It would also be reassuring for residents if their political representatives could find out what they should do if they are affected by noise emissions or shadow flicker. This information should be made available in Methil so that if people are disturbed in their homes by the turbine, they know there is someone whom they can contact who will deal with the problem immediately.”

Samsung is due to link the 7MW turbine to the national grid this month, marking another landmark for the world’s largest turbine, which was completed last October.

But residents and politicians have asked for assurances, following repairs to one of the blades.

A spokeswoman for Samsung Heavy Industries said there was no community benefit arrangement for the Methil turbine and therefore discussions on this were not necessary.

Source:  By Michael Alexander | The Courier | 4 March 2014 | www.thecourier.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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