Windfarm connection means a day without power

PIC BY ESME ALLEN FOR NEWS'A LIGHTBULB
PIC BY ESME ALLEN FOR NEWS'A LIGHTBULB

Residents and businesses in and around the east Berwickshire village of Grantshouse have been told their power will be switched off this week for nearly eight hours in order to connect the new Penmansheil wind farm to the grid.

Locals have been informed that they will not have any power from 9am to 4.30pm on Wednesday, January 20. The main reason for the power being cut off is understood to be because the controversial Penmanshiel wind farm is to be connected to the grid.

It is understood that RES UK, the company who run the wind farm are not putting on any provisions or arranging a generator during this time.

Local MSP John Lamont has strongly criticised the move, saying that it will put the health of vulnerable residents at risk and will mean some businesses have to close their doors. He and independent Councillor Michael Cook have received representations from concerned constituents about the plans. A generator is now being provided for the Cedar Café after John wrote to Scottish Power.

RES, who received consent for the Penmanshiel site in October 2013, issued this comment today (Monday, January 18): “RES was only made aware of this week’s intended grid outage by ScottishPower today (Monday 18th January), and we are currently in contact with the utility undertaking these works to discuss how any impact on local householders and businesses can be minimised and mitigated. We have not, to date, received any approaches from local residents or businesses – or from Mr Lamont – however any local people who wish to discuss this with us can do so by contacting David McKenzie on 07500 116 685”

John Lamont MSP said: “The residents in Grantshouse have already had to put up with a controversial wind farm, which was originally rejected by the Scottish Borders Council. Now, just as the cold snap has hit east Berwickshire, residents and businesses will have their heating and electricity will be turned off for over 7 hours.

“I have been contacted by a number of people who are concerned about how this will impact on vulnerable people in the area, particularly as the weather has turned cold. It could be dangerous for elderly, ill or pregnant residents to go without heating for most of a day without any alternatives put in place.

“The company running the wind farm should be making sure that the disruption caused is kept to a minimum. I am pleased that a generator will be in place in order to ensure the Cedar Café is able to stay open, but other businesses and residents will be disrupted. In the past generators have been set up to ensure that businesses do not have to close their doors and residents are able to stay in their homes.”