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St Andrews University wind farm campaign aims to see turbines finally built  

Credit:  By Cheryl Peebles | The Courier | March 9 2020 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

Campaigners are seeking nationwide social media backing for their bid to build a St Andrews University windfarm.

The university has said it still wants to erect six large wind turbines on land south-east of the town.

The scheme was given the go ahead seven years ago but, despite high level talks with the Ministry of Defence, bosses have been unable to negotiate a solution to prevent interference with radar at nearby Leuchars.

Amnesty International’s St Andrews arm has now launched a social media picture campaign as it pushes for construction of the windfarm.

The group says the project could lead the way for institutions across Europe to do likewise and has urged supporters of the Kenly wind farm, near Boarhills, to post pictures of themselves with paper windmills and the hashtags #windofchange and #kenly.

An Amnesty International St Andrews spokesman said: “In times of a global climate emergency all institutions, including those of higher education, need to adopt necessary measures to avert environmental collapse.”

He said Kenly windfarm would make the university “virtually the most sustainable institution in the UK, if not Europe”, setting a precedent for others to follow.

He said: “Our aim now is to make Kenly a nationwide issue and steer public opinion towards this worthy cause in order to force a reaction from the MoD.”

St Andrews University won planning permission in 2013 for the project. Leaders said it would save more than 9,000 tonnes of CO2 a year and make the institution self-sufficient for electrical energy.

Current planning permission, which has a condition that turbines do not interfere with radar systems at the former RAF station, is due to lapse this month.

The university has applied for its renewal, saying the scheme was central to its response to the climate crisis.

Quaestor and factor Derek Watson said: “The university has set a goal to become carbon neutral for our energy use and the award-winning biomass plant at Eden Campus and Kenly are essential elements in achieving that aim.

“We are fully committed to our plans for Kenly, which have already won approval from Scottish Ministers, and will continue to work to put in place the consents necessary to allow building work to go ahead quickly in future, if a radar mitigation solution is found.

“This project will safeguard local jobs, cut carbon emissions and help protect world-leading research in St Andrews.”

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: “We have been engaging with St Andrews University on the proposed Kenly wind farm project over a number of years.

“The university is required to ensure the wind farm does not interfere with the air traffic control radar at Leuchars Station and we stand ready to engage on any future proposals.”

A petition by Amnesty International St Andrews has been signed more than 1,100 times.

Source:  By Cheryl Peebles | The Courier | March 9 2020 | 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.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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