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

New turbines even more intrusive

ERG waxes lyrical about the repowering of wind farms (“Net zero on the horizon”, The Herald, February 18), a process by which the turbines are dismantled and replaced with technologically-advanced new turbines.

It is true that turbine numbers may be reduced by half using this process, but what ERG fails to mention is that they will be substantially taller with much longer blades to compensate. This does not lessen the visual effect, if anything it dramatically increases it by making the turbines visible over a much greater distance.

Taller turbines also need red aviation-safeguarding lights. As the blades pass in front of the lights it causes a strobing effect which causes distraction to road users and is a source of extreme annoyance for wind farm neighbours.

Since the Middleton and Neilston wind farms in East Renfrewshire started operating in 2013, their aviation lights have been the subject of numerous complaints to East Renfrewshire Council and are one of the main reasons for objection to further wind turbine applications in that area.

It was also one of the main topics for discussion at the recent Arecleoch public inquiry in South Ayrshire this month, where the council’s landscape architect stated that she had visited the Neilston area to view the wind farms’ lights and could confirm they were visible from parts of Glasgow at a distance of some 15 kilometres. Whilst new technology is being developed to lessen the effects, it is as yet unproven.

Is this what the future holds? Blinking disembodied red lights resembling an alien invasion, carpeting our country?

Rather than adjusting planning procedures to allow for easier consent, as ERG suggests, applications should undergo greater scrutiny to account for the increased negative impact these monstrosities will have on people, wildlife and the environment.

Aileen Jackson, Uplawmoor.