Proposals have been announced this week for a £25million wind farm at Rumbletonrig, west of the village of Greenlaw.
Developers TCI Renewables claim the proposed nine, 100m high turbines would generate around 25 megawatts of electricity, due to the area’s recorded average wind speeds of 7.4 metres per second.
The company also proposes to give the community a 6 per cent stake in the profits, averaging, it says, at around £157,000 per annum, making £4million over its 25 years of operation.
“This is equivalent to £7,000 per megawatt,” project manager Paul Beale told TheSouthern, “which is 40% more than the Scottish Government’s target for community benefit of £5,000 per megawatt, and nearly three times the level typically being received from operational wind farms in Scotland.
“Depending on the amount of electricity generated, the sum for the local community could exceed this,” he added, plus “there would be the security of a guaranteed minimum payment of £112,500 per annum, excluding inflation, equivalent to £5,000 per megawatt.
“We are committed to ensuring that the local community is given the opportunity to benefit significantly from Rumbletonrig Wind Farm by participating in its success. The local community will decide how these funds are managed and spent.”
Mr Beales promised that local firms and apprentices would be employed to help construct the wind farm, and support its operation, maintenance and decommissioning.
He added: “Rumbletonrig windfarm could generate enough electricity to meet all the annual average needs of more than 13,000 homes, equivalent to more than a quarter of all homes in the Scottish Borders. It could also offset more than 25,000 tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide emissions each year helping to tackle climate change.”
The proposals for Rumbletonrig are at an early stage, but a planning application to erect a wind monitoring mast will be submitted in the next few days.
z Latest anti-wind farm campaigners’ figures show 410 turbines have already been built or given consent in the Borders with a further 111 at appeal or public local inquiry stage turbines. Applications for 237 more turbines have been lodged with Scottish Borders Council, over 200 are at the scoping and screening stage and Scottish Government Ministers are to rule on 115 more under Section 36 of the Electricity Act. There have been proposals of application notice lodged for a further 40. And 110 applications have been refused and some of those applicants would appeal
Hermitage Action Group’s chairman Malcolm McGregor said: “It is not a pretty sight and the outlook for the Borders looks bleak. Anyone who believes this plague will not have an impact upon tourism in the Scottish Borders has their head firmly stuck in the sand and is not in touch with reality.”
Last week Newcastleton Community Council was told that renewables developer Infinis, which had hoped to put up 20 turbines at Windy Edge, near Hermitage Castle, had dropped the numbers to 17 - nine on Sundhope Farm and eight on Braidlie Farm - before the company puts an application in the SBC in March.