May 9, 2014

No more wind in the sails for community turbines

Selkirk Weekend Advertiser | 09 May 2014 |

Selkirk Regeneration Company (SRC) is abandonning its plans for a community windfarm, writing off £100,000 spent on the project so far.

The SRC’s Wind Energy Project was just one of its schemes ‘to improve the quality of life for the Royal Burgh of Selkirk’, by generating a regular income to benefit local causes.

“We tried everything to make this work,” explained ex-Director Dr Lindsay Neil in the minutes of last week’s meeting.

He added:“Planning restrictions constantly changing rendered our project only marginally profitable, and, we were assured, most likely disallowable.

“The Ministry of Defence strictures requiring planning permission to be in train; the much diminished revenue potential of the reduced generation potentially allowable by SBC planners, and the upgraded designation of the area environmentally, all combined to discourage the hitherto keen landowner from continuing his support.

“The option of exploiting Common Good land had already been unhelpfully excluded by the Common Good administrators so the SRC had no option other than to abandon the project which has cost £100,000 so far. The SRC will keep looking for other ways to create revenue from ‘green’ power generation but hydro power opportunities are not local and are capital intensive. Unfortunately, solar panels on an affordable/profitable scale will be environmentally disfiguring but all avenues will be explored.”

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