Blackmains wind farm meetings timetable

PROPOSALS for a seven turbine wind farm at Blackmains Farm near Ayton and Reston will be the focus of attention at a series of community engagement events due to take place next month.

The wind farm would have an installed capacity of 21 Megawatts (MW) and has the potential to generate enough electricity to power more than 10,000 homes – equivalent to almost one fifth of all homes in the Scottish Borders.

Dunfermline-based wind energy company, ENERTRAG Limited, plans to lodge a planning application for the Blackmains wind farm in 2012 and is currently undertaking a programme of engagement with the local community in East Berwickshire in the lead-up to this. Residents in the Ayton, Coldingham and Reston area will have an opportunity to meet members of the project team, to ask questions and to give their feedback.

The events are due to take place on: Thursday, October 6, 3.30pm–9pm at Ayton Village Hall; Friday, October 7, 4pm–8pm at Coldingham Village Hall; and Saturday, October 8, 9.30am–1pm at Reston Village Hall.

A newsletter containing information about the proposal and publicising the community engagement events has been distributed to around 1,000 households in the local area and a dedicated project website has also been set up and will shortly go live at the web address: www.blackmainswindfarm.com

If approved, ENERTRAG has committed itself to providing a generous community benefit package to accompany the wind farm. The details of how this package would be defined and allocated are due to be determined with the local communitities as part of the community engagement process over the coming months.

The 80-metre anemometer mast, due to go up in October or November, will be used to collect accurate wind and weather information at the hub height of the wind turbines proposed for the site and will also be used to correlate data for a detailed noise impact assessment.

Carolynne Sutherland, ENERTRAG’s project manager for the Blackmains project, commented: “We want to encourage as many members of the local community as possible to come along to these events to find out more about the Blackmains wind farm proposal.

“These events are just one element of a comprehensive community engagement strategy leading up to the submission of a planning application in the course of next year. I would encourage anyone interested in the project to come along to these events, to take the opportunity to discuss the proposal with members of the project team, and to give us their suggestions on how they think it could be improved.”