THE eastern Lammermuirs and A1 corridor in Berwickshire is proving a magnet for wind farm developers and the latest planning application, submitted last week by RES is for 15 turbines, each with a maximum height to the tip of blade of 100m.
The wind farm has an approximate capacity of 30MW and, if approved, could generate electricity equivalent to the average demand of 30% of the households in the Scottish Borders.
At the scoping stage of the application RES had been looking at 19 turbines, generating 50MW and turbines that were 125m high.
RES proposes a community benefit scheme of approximately £60,000 a year and will continue discussions with the community.
The planning application comes after community consultation which has included: company representatives meeting with residents and community council; a newsletter; public exhibitions; and questionnaire.
Speaking about the public consultation the company has undertaken, RES’s Penmanshiel project manager, Ruth Elder, said: “With questionnaires and surveys, we have been able to understand the attitudes towards renewable energy in general and the Penmanshiel Wind Farm in specific.
“The results from the exhibition questionnaires showed that 46% of people supported the proposal, 36% were neutral, 15% objected and 3% were undecided. These findings were supported by a recent telephone survey showing 57% supported the proposal and 28% opposed it.”
One official objection that has gone in to Scottish Borders Council points out: “The issue of continued expansion of the wind power generation locations in the eastern Lammermuirs and into the coastal area is one of the biggest planning decisions of all time in this region.”
Other large wind farm applictions nearby include Coldingham Moor (approved), Blackburn, near Grantshouse (pending), Crystal Rig (operational), Wester Dod, Aikengall II (appeal lodged) and Fallago Rig (approved).
The planning application can be seen at SBC headquarters, and Eyemouth and Duns libraries.