The Scot-Govt has upheld an appeal by a giant German wind turbine manufacturer and renewable energy developer to build a new 33-MW electricity station.
The plan for the 11-turbine Green Burn power plant in the Forest of Alyth, near Bridge of Cally, was earlier thrown out by the local authority in Pearth.**
But ABO Wind then agreed to reduce the height of the turbine towers and blade-tip heights for the station, which will be able to generate electricity to power some 17,500 homes when connected to the grid via a 33kV cable to the Coupar Angus sub-station. The turbines will have a hub height of up to 80m and an overall tip height of up to 126.5m
The site is located in a ‘Broad Area of Search’ for wind energy developments as identified in Perth and Kinross Cooncil’s Supplementary Planning Guidance for Wind Energy Proposals.
The location of the Green Burn station on Sheildrum Farm is adjacent to the nearby existing Drumderg wind farm.
The local authority had dismissed the project last year largely on landscape and visual grounds.
ABO was also awarded partial expenses after Scot-Govt officials ruled the council acted “unreasonably” in its handling of a Scottish Natural Heritage report on the landscape issue.
The John Muir Trust conservation charity said it had “serious concerns” about the development.
A spokesman said: “The northerly edge of the Green Burn site is less than five miles from the boundary of the Cairngorms National Park.
“With a potential total of 842 turbines around the Cairngorms – either operational, consented or in the planning system – we are deeply concerned about the cumulative impact this development will have on one of Scotland’s most spectacular areas of wild land.”
“Even in the immediate area around Green Burn, there could be a potential of 65 turbines. And with 3.3 million tonnes of reinforced concrete for the bases of the turbines on this wind farm alone, the increase in heavy transport will seriously disrupt the lives of local residents.”
ABO Wind have also pledged to hand over £165,000 a year for 25 years to local community groups when the station starts generating.
Meanwhile, Scot-Govt ministers and planning officials are struggling to decide whether to uphold an appeal by the developer of the proposed Strathy South wind farm because of ‘complex and time-consuming’ issues.
*Like the Scottish Government, Scottish Energy News operates an all-inclusive linguistic policy and recognises all three of Scotland’s languages – English, Scots and Gaelic (unlike the Scottish Parliament).
** ‘Cooncil’ is the Scots language word for ‘council’ and is not pejorative; Ditto for ‘Pearth’ as Perth.