Developer bids to build some of world’s tallest wind turbine towers in the Borders

The world's tallest wind turbine at Gaildorff in Bavaria has a wing-tip height of 246.5m
The world’s tallest wind turbine at Gaildorff in Bavaria has a wing-tip height of 246.5m

Plans by a Cheshire-based electricity generator to build some of the world’s tallest wind turbine towers in the Borders have been condemned as being ‘one of the most ill-judged and deficient’ schemes ever put forward in the region.

Community Windpower has put forward proposals for a 46-turbine wind farm, some at a maximum height of 200 metres at Cliffhope, north of  the former Saughtree rail station at Newcastleton, near Hawick.

As reported by Scottish Energy News last week, the world’s largest wind turbine tower – with a blade-tip height of 246.5 meters – has been built near Stuttgart in Germany.

The development is so large that it will be decided by the Scottish Government, although Borders Council as the planning area authority has been asked for its views.

Philip Kerr, chairman of the local community council, commented: “The 46 turbines proposed by Community Windpower would add to the huge number already proposed for the area, taking the running total to 189, which would overwhelm the area if all were approved.”

Hawick councillor George Turnbull said: “Cliffhope is at the very early stages and will be dealt with by Scottish Government officials, with Scottish Borders Council being invited to submit their views on the application.

“These turbines will be the biggest ever and require to be fitted with lights for aircraft safety. I would think the Ministry of Defence will have observations to make, as well as locals and others further afield.”

Community Windpower location of Cliffhope wind farm, near Newcastleton
Community Windpower location of Cliffhope wind farm, near Newcastleton

A Community Windpower spokesman said its proposal would provide £20 million in local community benefits over the course of its lifespan, and added:

“Cliffhope Community Wind Farm is strategically-sited and has the potential to make a valuable contribution to renewable energy generation in the Borders and in Scotland.

The Scottish Government recently re-stated its aspiration to generate the equivalent of 50% of heat, transport and electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2030.

8 Nov 2017

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