Public Comment Sought for Scottish Wind Farm Proposal

Plans for a £30 million wind farm in Skye, Scotland will be outlined at a public exhibition next week as local opposition to the proposals appears to be growing.

SKYE, Scotland 2002-03-13 [SolarAccess.com] A planning application has been lodged with Highland Council for the development on the Edinbane Estate by Amec, one of the companies behind a plan to build a £600 million wind farm on Barvas Moor, near Stornoway. The plan calls for installing 28 turbines, which would produce 49 MW of power. Amec will outline the plans at public meetings in Portree tomorrow and in Edinbane the following evening. But an action group has been set up to fight the plans amid fears they could harm the environment and Skye’s valuable tourism trade. Some residents are concerned that the plan will damage the natural habitat of the area and the tourism industry. Amec estimates about 20 or 30 jobs will be created in the initial construction phase and it is hoped the turbines could be built at the former oil fabrication yard at Arnish in Lewis. A new company has been formed, Edinbane Estate Wind Farm Company Ltd, in which the shares will be divided equally between the estate and the crofters. Brian Wilson, the energy minister, last month launched a government-commissioned energy review that said Scotland could become the “renewables capital of Europe”. He urged groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace to drop their “illogical” objections to wind and wave technology or put at risk hundreds of jobs. Wilson said the proposals contained in the performance and innovation unit’s energy review would go out to consultation and then form the bulk of a white paper. The review estimated Britain should aim to produce 20 per cent of its domestic electricity from renewable sources by 2020 – a target that would reduce bills by up to £20 million a year.

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