Article

Committee to meet on wind farm plans

Two major wind farm applications which objectors claim will ruin Dava Moor are due to be heard by Highland councillors in Inverness next month. A special meeting of the council's Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey planning committee is due to take place on August 23 to consider plans for the turbines at Tom Na Clach and Glenkirk.

Twomajor wind farm applications which objectors claim will ruin Dava Moor are due to be heard by Highland councillors in Inverness next month.

A special meeting of the council's Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey planning committee is due to take place on August 23 to consider plans for the turbines at Tom Na Clach and Glenkirk.

Dutch-owned wind farm firm Infinergy, along with Cawdor Estate, are behind proposals for 17 turbines at Tom nan Clach.

Meanwhile, developer Nanclach has lined up plans for 31 turbines as part of the Glenkirk wind farm nearby on the Dava hills.

There are proposals to site more than 130 giant turbines in total, each around 425 feet high, as part of other planned developments also including at Berryburn and Cairn Duhie.

Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson yesterday (Tuesday) launched a blistering attack on the proposals whilst on a visit to the moor with fellow campaigner and Dava resident Jeannie Munro.

He described any go-ahead for the wind farms as a "disaster for Scotland" and a "corruption of the fight against climate change".

Mr Stevenson is president of the Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Two major wind farm applications which objectors claim will ruin Dava Moor are due to be heard by Highland councillors in Inverness next month.

A special meeting of the council's Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey planning committee is due to take place on August 23 to consider plans for the turbines at Tom Na Clach and Glenkirk.

Dutch-owned wind farm firm Infinergy, along with Cawdor Estate, are behind proposals for 17 turbines at Tom nan Clach.

Meanwhile, developer Nanclach has lined up plans for 31 turbines as part of the Glenkirk wind farm nearby on the Dava hills.

There are proposals to site more than 130 giant turbines in total, each around 425 feet high, as part of other planned developments also including at Berryburn and Cairn Duhie.

Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson yesterday (Tuesday) launched a blistering attack on the proposals whilst on a visit to the moor with fellow campaigner and Dava resident Jeannie Munro.

He described any go-ahead for the wind farms as a "disaster for Scotland" and a "corruption of the fight against climate change".

Mr Stevenson is president of the Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Intergroup in the European Parliament.

He said yesterday: "I have returned for my fourth visit to Dava Moor to support the ongoing fight to save this unique area from being sucked into the great windmill scandal.

"If planning consent is granted to any of the six wind farms at Dava Moor it will destroy a vast peat bog which is up to four metres deep and over 2,000 years old.

"It will release massive quantities of CO² into the atmosphere and disturb the fragile ecosystem and hydrology of the lower regions of the Findhorn River.

"This fabulous part of our Scottish landscape heritage, home to capercaillies, golden eagles, ospreys, buzzards, red throated divers, lapwings, skylarks and ravens, will be permanently disfigured.

"This is not the way forward. It is a corruption of the fight against climate change and a disaster for Scotland."

He added: "It should come as no surprise to anyone that a recent investigation has proved that Scotland's wind farms are only working at half power."

He was referring to work by Stuart Young, who runs Caithness Wind Information Forum and analysed data from the Balancing Mechanism Reporting System website, which the National Grid uses to measure output from over 1,500 MW generated by wind farms in Scotland.

Mr Stevenson said: "His shock findings showed that while wind farms are known to have an average load factor of only around 30% - in other words they produce energy for just under one third of their active life - in fact this year they have barely managed to achieve 17% of their maximum installed capacity.

MEP Struan Stevenson with 'Save our Dava' campaigner Jeannie Munro at Lochindorb.

"Indeed, there have been long spells when no electricity at all was produced by any of Scotland's wind farms."

Mr Stevenson claimed greed has replaced common sense in the rush for renewables, adding: "So far we have spent billions of pounds on building just over 3,000 wind turbines in Britain - and yet they produce barely 1% of all the electricity that we need."

However, Infinergy project manager Mark Van Rij said Mr Stevenson's "negative" views on wind farms are well documented.

Mr Van Rij said: "We would firstly like to point out that our proposed wind farm is not on the Dava Moor.

"Impact on any peat has been calculated by experts working to an industry-agreed model. They are experts whose job it is to determine whether our wind farm would make a contribution to tackling climate change. As part of that, we have to look at carbon payback.

"There is a thorough and robust methodology in place to determine what the impact will be on peat, the River Findhorn and the ecology and wildlife in the area.

"The experts in these areas are the statutory agencies whose job it is to monitor the development.

"Obviously, I am not speaking for other developers, but as far as our proposal is concerned there has been very thorough and robust analysis.

"The various statutory bodies tasked with protecting the ecology and environment in this area are content that this development is not going to cause problems.

Mr Van Rij said that wind farms are just one part of the energy mix which is required across the UK.

"However, I do not believe that using selective statistics is particularly helpful," he said.

"Mr Young analysed production over a very short period, and to use specifics from that to discredit wind energy is just totally misleading.

"You can use statistics to prove anything - including that the moon is made of cheese. I find it disappointing that some politicians choose to seize on these."

A Highland Council spokesman confirmed that a special meeting of the planning committee was schedule for August 23 to consider both wind farm and access proposals.


Source: http://www.strathspey-heral...

JUL 21 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/27367-committee-to-meet-on-wind-farm-plans
back to top