Meikleton wind farm planning bid to Aberdeenshire Council
17 September 2012 Renewable energy developer Burcote Wind has submitted its planning application for a four-turbine wind farm at Meikleton, near Huntly, to Aberdeenshire Council.
Consultation in the run up to the submission has revealed high levels of support for the proposal – with more than 70% of feedback received since the project was first unveiled in favour of the scheme.
As well as two separate rounds of public exhibitions in June 2011 and June 2012, Burcote has sent out newsletters to nearby residents, engaged with local Community Councils, established a dedicated project website [www.meikletonwindfarm.com] and set up a Community Liaison Group to look at the plans in detail.
The Meikleton proposal is for four 110m-high turbines with a total electricity generating capacity of 12 megawatts (MW), capable of powering around 8,500 homes and displacing 17,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide which would otherwise be produced by dirtier sources of power.
Should the proposal gain planning consent, Burcote has pledged to establish a community benefit fund worth £5,000 per MW of electricity generating capacity. This would create a fund worth £60,000 per year, or £1.5million over the wind farm’s 25-year lifetime, for local organisations and initiatives.
The Community Liaison Group has discussed potential priorities for the fund, including providing support for Cairnie Memorial Hall, helping young people undertake apprenticeships and other training and ring-fencing a proportion of the fund for the Huntly Development Trust in order to contribute to projects benefiting the whole AB54 postcode area.
At public exhibitions in Cairnie and Huntly’s Stewart’s Hall in June this year, 70% of people who gave their feedback said they were either ‘supportive’ or ‘very supportive’ of the scheme. This mirrored earlier feedback at events last year, when 73% of completed questionnaires were in favour of the proposal.
Since first announcing the plans in February 2011, Burcote Wind has reduced the number of turbines proposed for the site from five to four and reduced the height to blade tip of the structures from 125m to 110m.
Burcote Wind’s chairman, Graham Brown, said:
“We’ve been really delighted by the consistently high level of support for the Meikleton wind farm proposal – over 70% positive - shown by people in Cairnie and Huntly.
“We would put this down to the open and honest dialogue we’ve maintained with the community from the outset, including via a Community Liaison Forum of local representatives.
“The Meikleton proposal’s key feature is its visual unobtrusiveness – it sits in a natural ‘bowl’ surrounded by hills, meaning the impact on the surrounding landscape will be minimal.
“Its topographical situation also means we don’t face any radar or aviation issues.
“Burcote Wind has a strong commitment as a company to bringing real and lasting improvements to local areas through our community benefit funds. Local people have already come up with some excellent ideas for how the proposed £60,000-per-year Meikleton fund could be used and we look forward to seeing these ideas become reality if the project gets the go-ahead.”
Notes to Editors
1. Burcote Wind recently concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with Kintyre-based Wind Towers Limited – the only manufacturing plant of its kind in Scotland – under the terms of which Burcote Wind has agreed to offer Wind Towers Limited the chance to supply wind towers for its projects in Scotland where technically and commercially possible. The move will help to keep as much of Burcote’s investment in Scotland as possible, supporting jobs and skills. A video clip of the conclusion of the Memorandum is available here: http://youtu.be/TcaObfwYrwQ
2. Burcote Windis an independent renewable energy company based in Dunfermline, Scotland, but active throughout the UK. The company specialises in onshore wind energy projects from the identification and design stage right through to construction and operation. www.burcotewind.com
For more information, please contact:
0131 603 8996