RENEWABLE energy developer, Banks Renewables, has revised the scale of its Quixwood Moor Wind Farm project, reducing the number of turbines from 14 to 13 and the height of three of the turbines to 100m and the remaining ten to 115m, down from the previously proposed height of 126.5m.
Banks Renewables submitted a planning application to Scottish Borders Council in December 2011 for consent to build and operate a 14 turbine wind farm at Quixwood Moor, between Grantshouse and Abbey St Bathans.
The planning application eventually went before Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee on November 5, 2012 but instead of making a decision councillors continued to allow further negotiation regarding the height and lay-out of the proposed wind farm.
At that time there were objections from 20 households, and six letters of support. The three community councils were split, one supporting it, one against and the other expressing concern while not actually objecting.
On December 14, 2012, Banks Renewables re-submitted their application revising the proposed lay-out of the wind farm in an attempt to decrease the visual impact of the proposed site.
And as well as changes to the number and height of turbines the developers propose increasing the mixed native woodland planting between Blackburn March wood and the Moor road will decrease visibility of turbines 10 and 13 from the Southern Upland Way to the north.
The decision to alter the original design of the site came after feedback from the Scottish Borders Council and Berwickshire residents following a series of public meetings and exhibitions.
Phil Dyke, director at Banks Renewables said: “After engaging closely with the local communities as well as the community councils we have decided to decrease the size of the project, as well as the height of the turbines.
“We wanted to go back to the drawing board and ensure that we devised a plan which could be accepted by everyone.
“We have been extremely proactive in communicating with both the community and the community councils and we are keen to keep that level of engagement right throughout the various stages of the project.”
If the revised plans get the go ahead the wind farm could generate up to 29.9MW of energy - enough to meet the annual energy needs of up to 14,900 homes. The generating capacity has been reduced from 32.2MW with the removal of one turbine and the slightly reduced size of the others.
In their latest application Banks Renewables say: “Quixwood Moor site is considered to be an optimal site for accommodating a commercially viable wind farm that would contribute to meeting the Scottish Government‟s 2020 target for renewable energy generation.”