- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Benefits of wind turbines at public spots in Fife questioned

Giant wind turbines in public parks, schools and leisure centres would yield no direct benefit for the communities in their shadow, it has been revealed.

Fife Council last week announced five sites earmarked for turbines measuring up to 77 metres.

Plans for structures at Dalgety Bay Leisure Centre, Inverkeithing High School, Halbeath park and ride, Cotlands Park in Kennoway and Pitreavie playing fields in Dunfermline, have been discussed by members of the authority’s executive committee.

The project has been proposed as a way of slashing the council’s £13 million a year energy bills, an amount expected to top £20m by 2020.

However, the prospect of turbines appearing in the middle of communities has proved controversial in some quarters, with questions raised over the amount of consultation carried out with local people and the benefits they will see.

Project manager Fenella McEwan told Levenmouth area committee the benefits would be Fife-wide rather than local, adding: “They are to fund frontline services wherever they are needed.”

Leven councillor Alistair Hunter said there would be “zero return” for the communities affected by the turbines.

He said: “I think there is a missed opportunity to engage positively with our communities around some of the benefits that could come from this.”

Mr Hunter also questioned the extent of the consultation carried out in the affected areas after learning that only two people had turned up to the Kennoway event.

“That doesn’t strike me as consultation,” he said.

“You can’t possibly extract views from that.”

The proposal was defended by committee chairman Tom Adams, who said: “I really don’t think we could do much more. We need to do something to keep our energy costs down and the community benefit is the ability to keep people’s council tax down and keep services going.”