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Burcote Wind and CS Wind Reaffirm Commitment in MoU

Scottish wind developer, Burcote Wind re-committed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CS Wind UK yesterday (Wednesday 28 September). The MoU was signed by Graham Brown, Director of Burcote Wind and Lesley Black, Sales and Marketing Manager at CS Wind UK at the WindEnergy Expo 2016 in Hamburg.

The agreement will see the two companies working together across Burcote Wind’s portfolio, including the recently consented Sandy Knowe Wind Farm, a 24 turbine project in Dumfries and Galloway.

In 2012, Burcote Wind first committed to a MoU with Wind Towers Scotland, which was then acquired by CS Wind Corporation earlier this year. Last year Burcote Wind also announced a partnership with ERG, Italy’s leading wind energy operator and one of the primary operators in Europe (1,446MW installed).

Burcote Wind’s portfolio is made up six active onshore wind projects at various stages of planning throughout Scotland. One of the company’s proposed developments, Creggan Wind Farm, is located close to the CS Wind UK plant in West Kintyre. Burcote Wind’s pipeline could provide the plant with over a year’s worth of orders based on the current manufacturing capacity, providing crucial support for local skills, employment and apprenticeships in Kintyre.

Graham Brown said: “I’m delighted to reaffirm and strengthen our relationship with CS Wind through the signing of this updated Memorandum of Understanding today. We want to ensure as much as possible of the £500 million investment behind our project pipeline is retained in Scotland, supporting jobs and skills. This includes our unique Procurement Policy, which offers local contractors a 5% price advantage when tendering for contracts relating to our projects. This coupled with our ground breaking Community Ownership scheme ensures our status a leading, community focused onshore wind developer.

Lesley Black commented: “CS Wind is delighted to reconfirm this agreement today in Hamburg. CS Wind’s acquisition of Wind Towers (Scotland) in April this year is a positive step towards strengthening the UK’s wind tower manufacturing capabilities and competitiveness.

“The support of developers like Burcote Wind for local suppliers provides a visible order pipeline for the factory, in turn helping to secure the future for high value skilled manufacturing jobs in renewables industry in the UK,”

Sir Ed Davey, Former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “I am delighted to have witnessed the MoU signing between CS Wind UK and Burcote Wind. To see these two companies reassert their commitment to production and development in Scotland is key for our industry’s growth within the UK. The jobs secured by CS Wind in Campbeltown show Scotland’s overall commitment to the energy industry.”

CS Wind UK is one of the largest single employers in the Campbelltown area, with a workforce of around 160. In July 2016 the company announced its commitment to make further investments in its plant, which will create and additional 160 jobs. This move was welcomed by Scottish Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, who highlighted the company’s contribution to job creation in the local area.

The MoU commits both Burcote Wind and CS Wind UK to five years of future development within Scotland. The two companies will work together to provide the technical, commercial and operational support necessary in respect of wind energy projects being developed by Burcote Wind in the UK. Where possible the companies will agree to collaborate on future onshore wind projects within the UK.

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Council Approves Sandy Knowe Wind Farm

Dumfries and Galloway Council has approved plans for the proposed Sandy Knowe Wind Farm on land south-west of Kirkconnel and Kelloholm in Upper Nithsdale with a 11-6 decision in favour of the development at the Planning Applications Committee on Tuesday 22nd March.

Burcote submitted an application to the Council in July last year for a reduced 24 turbine Sandy Knowe scheme. This followed the refusal of an original 30 turbine, Section 36 application by the Scottish Government in February 2015, which prompted a petition with over 1,000 signatures from the local communities to overturn the decision. The new application would see 24 turbines, each with a tip height up to 125m, with the project having a total installed capacity of up to 48MW.

The Sandy Knowe application received no objections from statutory consultees such as SNH, SEPA and Historic Scotland, with only a partial consultee objection from the Council’s Landscape Architect, but was recommended for refusal by Council Planners on the grounds of adverse landscape and visual impacts. Despite the recommendation, Councillor Archie Dryburgh moved a successful motion to consent the scheme, which was seconded by Councillor Ian Carruthers.

Burcote announced last year that they will be working in partnership with ERG, a major Italian renewable investor on Sandy Knowe Wind Farm, meaning that despite recent changes in domestic market conditions, the project will now be built out. The partnership also means that the project can offer an innovative community shared ownership model, with the local Community Councils of Kirkconnel and Kelloholm and the Royal Burgh of Sanquhar owning up to the equivalent of one turbine.

Sandy Knowe Wind Farm has received significant support from the local communities, with 118 letters of support and only one objection. Both the Kirkconnel and Kelloholm and The Royal Burgh of Sanquhar Community Councils, and local member Cllr John Syme, spoke in support of the application at Committee.

Fraser Campbell, Operations Director at Burcote Wind welcomed the decision:

“We are delighted that the Council has again shown their support for the Sandy Knowe development and consented our application today (Tuesday). We have worked closely with the Council and the local communities for the last four years to ensure that we brought forward an application that was both sensitively designed and located, but also one which would provide genuine benefit for the local communities.”

‘We are now looking forward to working with the communities to realise the potential that Sandy Knowe has. Kirkconnel, Kelloholm and Sanquhar will now, after years of waiting, be able to affect real, positive change in their respective communities, as a result of this decision.”

A joint comment from Royal Burgh of Sanquhar Community Council and Kirkconnel and Kelloholm Community Council stated:

“The Communities of Sanquhar, Kirkconnel and Kelloholm welcome the Planning Applications Committee’s decision today. We fully support Sandy Knowe Wind Farm and have done so throughout. This development will provide us with a great opportunity to significantly improve local services, provide work related training and will help breathe new life into our communities. We do not want to rely on the Council to fund these programmes. We want to take responsibility for ourselves, and today’s decision allows us to achieve that.”

Local communities have entered into an Agreement of Intent to participate in shared ownership of the scheme, which will now see 4.17% of net profits shared with the communities annually. In addition, and in line with Scottish Government guidelines, Burcote has also set up the Sandy Knowe Community Benefit Fund that will make a contribution to the surrounding communities of up to £240,000 per year, or up to approximately £6 million over the 25 year lifespan of the wind farm.

Alongside their offer of community ownership and community benefit contributions, Burcote has also proposed a preferential procurement policy for local contractors, providing a 5% price advantage for local firms on contracts relating to the development. This would apply to businesses based in Dumfries and Galloway.

Burcote Wind is a Scottish renewables company who are based in Dunfermline, and have been operating since 2009 in Scotland and throughout the UK. The company has six projects active throughout the UK, with their current focus for investment being on Dumfries and Galloway. Burcote announced last year that they will be working in partnership with ERG, a major Italian renewable investor, on projects in Dumfries and Galloway – Sandy Knowe and Longburn Wind Farm. ERG has been operating successfully in the energy sector for almost 80 years and is the leading wind energy operator in Italy and one of the primary operators in Europe (1,446 MW installed).

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Sandy Knowe wind farm planning bid could rejuvenate Upper Nithsdale

IMG_0318

Renewable energy developer Burcote Wind has today officially submitted its planning application for a thirty-turbine wind farm at Sandy Knowe in Upper Nithsdale to the Scottish Government. Burcote Wind believes the project will generate jobs, create skills and bring massive community benefit to areas like Kirkconnel & Kelloholm where unemployment is nearly double that of the rest of Dumfries & Galloway.

Located south-west of Kirkconnel and Kelloholm, the proposal would consist of thirty turbines that will measure a maximum of 125m from ground to blade tip, with a total electricity generating capacity of 90 megawatts (MW). The wind farm has the potential to provide sufficient electricity to meet the needs of up to 41,700 homes and to displace 112,916 tonnes of CO2 per year, based on the average generation mix of UK power sources.

Burcote Wind has also been working closely with the community on plans for an associated community benefit fund that would provide £11.25m for the local community over the life of the windfarm. Burcote Wind believes this funding should be used to help regenerate the area economically by supporting job creation, developing skills and supporting the local community.

As well as two separate rounds of public exhibitions, in February and September 2012, Burcote has sent out newsletters to nearby residents, engaged with local community councils, established a detailed project website (https://sandyknowewindfarm.com/) and setup a Community Liaison Group (CLG) to look at the plans in detail. The group has met three times since its creation; in July, September and November 2012, and has been very active at suggesting the kind of projects the Community Benefit Fund could support to have maximum economic impact and leave a positive legacy from the wind farm.

Some of the ideas suggested have included the community paying for local apprenticeships, bursaries for young people to go to university and outreach centres with local colleges. Burcote Wind’s role following consent would be to ensure the funds are properly administered but that local people should decide what the money should be used for.

Burcote Wind’s approach has also seen the proposal enjoy broad and growing support locally. At public exhibitions held in March 2012, 70% respondents to a questionnaire were either “Supportive” or “Very Supportive” of the Sandy Knowe windfarm proposal whilst, at a similar exhibition in September, that number actually rose to 83%.

Burcote Wind’s Managing Director, Graham Brown, said:

“We’ve been delighted, not only with the support in the community, but with the ideas and advice of local people. Burcote firmly believe that the open and honest dialogue we have maintained from the outset, along with our focus on ensuring that the community benefit fund we are proposing be used to provide jobs and skills to grow the economy, have shown local people that we are a responsible and community-spirited company.

“In the event we are granted consent we look forward to working with the local community in future to ensure that construction commences quickly and that the community are given all the support they need to ensure a positive lasting legacy from the Sandy Knowe wind farm.”

Notes to Editors

1. Burcote Wind is an independent renewable energy company based in Dunfermline, Scotland, but active throughout the UK. The company specialises in onshore wind energy projects from the identification and design stage right through to construction and operation. http://www.burcotewind.com

2. PDF Copies of the submission, including associated Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) Report containing information on the figures described above are available on request.

3. Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics “Percentage of working age population who are employment deprived” for 2010 in Dumfries & Galloway was 11% and for the Community Regeneration Area of Kirkconnel was 21%.

4. For more information, please contact Orbit Communications on 0131 603 8996 or email contact@orbit-comms.co.uk.

ENDS

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Public approval for Sandy Knowe wind farm proposal

Visitors at the Sandy Knowe wind farm public exhibition in Sanquhar, September 28th 2012

People in Upper Nithsdale and neighbouring parts of East Ayrshire who attended recent public exhibitions on renewable firm Burcote Wind’s Sandy Knowe wind farm proposal have given the scheme a big thumbs-up.

A resounding 83% of attendees (15 out of 18) at the events last week in Kelloholm, New Cumnock and Sanquhar said they were either ‘supportive’ or ‘very supportive’ of the proposal.

This backs up earlier feedback from events in March this year, when 70% of respondents (28 out of 40) said they were in favour. The average saying they supported the Sandy Knowe proposal across the two sets of events was 74%.

In addition, the vast majority of attendees backed the main areas suggested for support from the £450,000-per-year (£11.25million over the 25-year project lifetime) community benefit fund associated with the project. These include measures to stimulate economic growth such as apprenticeships, small business grants and an outreach centre to allow youngsters to study college courses locally.

The 30-turbine Sandy Knowe proposal would have an installed capacity of 90 megawatts (MW), enough to power 50,000 homes – the equivalent of 73% of all homes in Dumfries and Galloway. It would also offset 102,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, reducing Dumfries and Galloway’s carbon footprint.

Burcote has been consulting with the community for more than a year on its plans and has set up a community liaison group of local representative organisations including Community Councils to discuss ideas and address concerns.

The firm expects to submit a planning application for the Sandy Knowe proposal in November this year.

Burcote operations director Fraser Campbell said:

“We’ve been delighted by the level of positivity shown towards the Sandy Knowe project by local people.

“We’ve tried hard to work constructively with local people throughout the consultation process to address areas of concern and engage meaningfully with local organisations. We think that hard work is reflected in the level of support shown for Sandy Knowe.

“The community liaison group has been an invaluable forum for exchanging information between ourselves and the community and brainstorming ideas for how the £450,000-per-year community benefit fund can help bring about lasting economic regeneration.

“It’s clear that a fund of this size could help kickstart real economic growth locally, through things like apprenticeships, grants for small businesses and improved access to skills training using modern online study methods to overcome rural isolation.

“The area has been hit hard by the loss of traditional industries, so this is a way of creating the right environment for young people to get on and entrepreneurship to flourish.”

A community website – www.sandyknowewindfarm.com – has been set up to keep local people informed with maps, photomontages, progress on technical studies and dates of meetings or public exhibitions.

Notes to Editors

1. The recent public exhibitions in Kelloholm, New Cumnock and Sanquhar on September 26th-28thwere attended by 43 people. Of these, 21 left written feedback via a questionnaire. Of those who answered a question asking how supportive they were of the scheme (18 people), 83% (15 people) said they were either ‘supportive’ or ‘very supportive’. At earlier events at the same locations in March 2012, attended by around 60 local people, 70% of those who gave feedback (28 out of 40) said they were either ‘supportive’ or ‘very supportive’ of the scheme  – against just 10% who said they were opposed and the rest undecided.

2. These results support findings from an independent postal survey, commissioned by Burcote Wind, and returned by 136 local residents. Of those who responded, 64% thought that Sandy Knowe was a good site for a wind farm and only 19% didn’t.

3. The 30x 3 megawatt (MW) turbines proposed for the Sandy Knowe site would have a combined installed capacity of 90MW, capable of producing 237,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually. This is enough to:

  • Power 50,000 homes per year – 73% of all the homes in Dumfries and Galloway or 93% of East Ayrshire homes
  • Cut carbon dioxide emissions by 102,000 tonnes
  • Help Scotland reach its target to produce 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

4. The proposed community benefit fund is equivalent to an annual payment of £5,000 per Megawatt (MW) of installed generating capacity. This would produce an annual ‘royalty’ to the community of £450,000 (based on the output of 30 turbines of 90MW), or £11.25million over the 25 year lifespan of the development. The payment would be fixed and would not fluctuate with production, to guarantee stable funding. The exact vehicle for delivering this resource to local community projects will be determined in close consultation with community representatives.

5. As part of the future planning application, Burcote Wind will need to compile a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to identify the potential impact of building the wind farm on the local environment, ecology and plant and animal life. The EIA must demonstrate that the benefits of developing the site clearly outweigh any potentially negative impacts. In addition, Burcote Wind will have to demonstrate how the site can be physically and ecologically restored following the 25 year lifespan of the wind farm.

6. Burcote Wind is an independent renewable energy company based in Dunfermline, Scotland, but active throughout the UK. The company specialises in onshore wind energy projects from the identification and design stage right through to construction and operation.

7. For more information, please contact Orbit Communications on 0131 603 8996 or email contact@orbit-comms.co.uk.

ENDS

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£5.6 million community benefit to accompany Upper Nithsdale wind farm proposal

800px-Wind_turbine_-_toora

Note – Figures were correct at time of issue but have since been updated in line with reduction of proposed turbines from 30 to 27 due to landscape constraints. See homepage for correct figures.

Newly announced proposals for a wind farm on land five kilometres south-west of Kirkconnel in Upper Nithsdale could generate a community benefit fund worth £5.6 million. Comprising 30 turbines, each with an installed capacity of 2.5 megawatts, the proposed Sandy Knowe wind farm has the potential to generate sufficient electricity to power 42,000 homes – equivalent to more than 60% of all homes in Dumfries and Galloway.

The proposals have been brought forward by Burcote Wind, a Dunfermline-based independent renewable energy company specialising in onshore wind energy projects.

If approved, Sandy Knowe wind farm would be accompanied by a community benefit fund worth £225,000 per year or £5.6 million over its 25-year lifetime to support local community projects. This level of community benefit is based on the current proposal for a wind farm with an installed capacity of 75 megawatts. Each megawatt of installed capacity will provide the local community with a guaranteed income of £3000 per year for each year of the wind farm’s lifetime.

Over the coming months, Burcote Wind hopes to have detailed discussions with local groups to determine the practicalities of managing and allocating the proposed community benefit fund to support local projects and initiatives in the event that the wind farm were to get the go-ahead.

The proposed wind farm site is located in a previously industrialised landscape, and has very good wind resource with average wind speeds of eight metres per second. The wind farm would offset almost 85,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, making a major contribution to reducing the carbon footprint in Dumfries and Galloway.

Burcote Wind does not intend to submit a planning application for the proposed Sandy Knowe wind farm until mid 2012 at the earliest. In the meantime, the company has plans to undertake an extensive programme of engagement with the local community about its proposals. As part of this process, Burcote will host a series of public exhibitions and intends to set up a dedicated project website providing detailed information and regular updates about the project.

Burcote Wind Chairman Graham Brown said:

“Our proposals for a wind farm at Sandy Knowe have the potential to make a major contribution to meeting the future energy needs of Dumfries and Galloway and Scotland as a whole with a supply of clean, green electricity that will also help tackle climate change by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

“But we also understand how sensitive wind farm proposals can be. This is why we are keen to engage with the local community at such an early stage of the process, giving local groups and individuals ample opportunity to help shape our proposals for the site.

“We strongly believe that the community should also enjoy tangible benefits from having a wind farm in the local area. We are committed to providing a community benefit fund worth £3000 of guaranteed income per year for every megawatt of installed capacity at the site. Based on our current proposals, that would provide a fund worth £5.6 million over the wind farm’s 25 year lifetime.”

Mr. Brown concluded:

“Over the coming months, we look forward to engaging extensively with the local community around the Sandy Knowe wind farm site. I would encourage anyone with an interest in the project to get involved in the community engagement process and help us to develop a balanced proposal that provides genuine benefits for the local area.”

Notes to Editors

1. Burcote Wind is an independent renewable energy company based in Dunfermline, Scotland, but active throughout the UK. The company specialises in onshore wind energy projects from the identification and design stage right through to construction and operation.

2. The proposed community benefit fund for the proposed Sandy Knowe wind farm is equivalent to an annual payment of £3,000 per Megawatt (MW) of installed generating capacity. This would produce an annual ‘royalty’ to the community of up to £225,000 (based on the output of 30 turbines of 75MW), or £5.6 million over the 25 year lifespan of the development. The exact vehicle for delivering this resource to local community projects will be determined in close consultation with community representatives.

3. As part of the future planning application, Burcote Wind will need to compile a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to identify the potential impact of building the wind farm on the local environment, ecology and plant and animal life. The EIA must demonstrate that the benefits of developing the site clearly outweigh any potentially negative impacts. In addition, Burcote Wind will have to demonstrate how the site can be physically and ecologically restored following the 25 year lifespan of the wind farm. A planning application will not be submitted until the summer of 2012 at the earliest.

4. For more information, please contact Orbit Communications on 0131 603 8996 or email contact@orbit-comms.co.uk.

ENDS

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Public exhibitions for revised Nithsdale wind farm plan

Issued on behalf of Burcote Wind by Orbit Communications.

Wind farm

Residents in Upper Nithsdale and neighbouring parts of East Ayrshire will have the chance to see renewable energy firm Burcote Wind’s revised proposal for a wind farm at Sandy Knowe, near Kirkconnel and Kelloholm, which could net the community £11.25million over its lifetime.

The events will feature exhibition boards and a 3D computer model of the site to show people how the development would look from practically anywhere in the local landscape. Members of the Burcote Wind project team will also be on hand to answer any questions and collect feedback.

The events will be held at:

  • Wednesday 26th September — Hillview Leisure Centre, Kirkland Drive, Kelloholm, DG4 6ST, 1pm-7.30pm
  • Thursday 27th September — New Cumnock Community Centre, New Cumnock, KA18 4AH, 1pm-7.30pm
  • Friday 28th September – Sanquhar Community Centre, Station Road, Sanquhar, DG4 6BT 1pm-7.30pm

Since a previous round of exhibitions in March – at which 70% of respondents to a questionnaire said they were either ‘supportive’ or ‘very supportive’ of the proposal – the number of turbines planned at the site has increased from 27 to 30.

The change has been made to make best use of the prevailing westerly winds on the site. Despite the increase in numbers, Burcote has moved the nearest turbines further away from properties and the A76 road and the turbines are still more than 2km from Kelloholm village.

The new 30-turbine layout at Sandy Knowe would give the wind farm an installed capacity of 90 megawatts (MW), enough to power 50,000 homes – the equivalent of 73% of all homes in Dumfries and Galloway or 93% of East Ayrshire households. It would also offset 102,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, reducing Dumfries and Galloway’s carbon footprint.

Burcote Wind has said that, as part of its proposals, it would create a community benefit fund to support economic regeneration locally.

Burcote recently increased the amount of community benefit associated with its projects from £3,000 to £5,000 per MW of electricity generating capacity. As a result of this, and the overall increase in turbine numbers, the community benefit fund for Sandy Knowe has more than doubled to be worth £450,000 per year, or £11.25million over the 25-year lifetime of the wind farm.

Since the last round of exhibitions, Burcote has convened a Community Liaison Group of local representatives to discuss the project and the kind of priorities that could be supported by the fund.

Burcote Wind’s chairman, Graham Brown, said:

“We’re looking forward to showing our revised proposal for Sandy Knowe to the community.

“Given the increased number of turbines at the site, the community benefit fund associated with Sandy Knowe will now be worth around £450,000 per year, or £11.25m over the wind farm’s 25-year lifetime.

“We believe a fund of that size can help bring about lasting economic regeneration in the area, for example by providing support to small and startup businesses, helping firms to take on apprentices and equipping young people with improved skills through education and training.

“Although we’ve already had very productive discussions with the Community Liaison Group on how the fund could be used, we want to hear more ideas.

“These events will be the last round of exhibitions before we submit our planning application later this year, so I’d encourage everyone to come along and give us their feedback.”

A community website – www.sandyknowewindfarm.com – has been set up to keep local people informed with maps, photomontages, progress on technical studies and dates of meetings or public exhibitions.

Notes to Editors

1. At a series of recent public exhibitions in Kelloholm, New Cumnock and Sanquhar attended by around 60 local people, 70% of those who gave feedback said they were either ‘supportive’ or ‘very supportive’ of the scheme – against just 10% who said they were opposed and the rest undecided.
These results support findings from a recent independent survey, commissioned by Burcote Wind, and returned by 136 local residents. Of those who responded, 64% thought that Sandy Knowe was a good site for a wind farm and only 19% didn’t.

2. The 30x 3 megawatt (MW) turbines proposed for the Sandy Knowe site would have a combined installed capacity of 90MW, capable of producing 237,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually. This is enough to:
• Power 50,000 homes per year – 73% of all the homes in Dumfries and Galloway or 93% of East Ayrshire homes
• Cut carbon dioxide emissions by 102,000 tonnes
• Help Scotland reach its target to produce 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

3. The proposed community benefit fund is equivalent to an annual payment of £5,000 per Megawatt (MW) of installed generating capacity. This would produce an annual ‘royalty’ to the community of £450,000 (based on the output of 30 turbines of 90MW), or £11.25million over the 25 year lifespan of the development. The payment would be fixed and would not fluctuate with production, to guarantee stable funding. The exact vehicle for delivering this resource to local community projects will be determined in close consultation with community representatives.

4. As part of the future planning application, Burcote Wind will need to compile a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to identify the potential impact of building the wind farm on the local environment, ecology and plant and animal life. The EIA must demonstrate that the benefits of developing the site clearly outweigh any potentially negative impacts. In addition, Burcote Wind will have to demonstrate how the site can be physically and ecologically restored following the 25 year lifespan of the wind farm.

5. Burcote Wind is an independent renewable energy company based in Dunfermline, Scotland, but active throughout the UK. The company specialises in onshore wind energy projects from the identification and design stage right through to construction and operation.

6. For more information, please contact Orbit Communications on 0131 603 8996 or email contact@orbit-comms.co.uk.

ENDS

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Public events for Sandy Knowe wind farm proposal

Image 4 courtesy of Dan - freedigitalphotos.net

Green energy firm Burcote Wind is set to stage a series of community engagement events around its proposals for a wind farm at Sandy Knowe, near Kirkconnel and Kelloholm.

The exhibition days will be on Wednesday, March 14 at the Hillview Leisure Centre in Kelloholm; Thursday, March 15 in New Cumnock Community Centre and Friday, March 16 in Sanquhar Community Centre. Each event will be open from 12pm to 7.30pm.

The 67.5 megawatt (MW) proposal at Sandy Knowe will have a maximum of 27 turbines and could power 38,000 homes – the equivalent of 55% of all homes in Dumfries and Galloway or 70% of East Ayrshire households – as well as generating up to £5.06million for the local community over its lifetime.

It would also offset 76,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, reducing Dumfries and Galloway’s carbon footprint.

Burcote Wind has said that, as part of its proposals, it would create a community benefit fund worth up to £202,500 per year, or £5.06million over the 25-year lifetime of the wind farm. The community benefit fund is calculated as a payment of £3,000 per Megawatt (MW) of total generating capacity. It would be a fixed payment every year and would not fluctuate with production, providing stability for the community.

This could provide funds for local organisations and initiatives in close proximity to the wind farm and a distribution mechanism would be agreed with local representative groups.

A community website – http://www.sandyknowewindfarm.com – has been set up to keep local people informed with maps, photomontages, progress on technical studies and dates of meetings or public exhibitions.

Graham Brown, Burcote Wind’s chairman, said:

“We hope as many people as possible will be able to join us at our public exhibitions in Kelloholm, New Cumnock and Sanquhar.

“As well as exhibition boards giving detail about our proposal for Sandy Knowe, there will be a 3D computer model of the site to show people how the development would look from practically anywhere in the local landscape.

“Members of the Burcote Wind project team will also be on hand to answer any questions and collect feedback.

“The Sandy Knowe wind farm proposal has the potential to generate enough clean electricity to power almost 38,000 homes, as well as cutting carbon emissions and providing a significant community benefit fund to support local projects and initiatives.”

Notes to Editors

1. The 27x 2.5 megawatt (MW) turbines proposed for the Sandy Knowe site would have a combined output of around 67.5MW. This is enough to:

                       – Power 38,000 homes per year – 55% of all the homes in Dumfries and Galloway or 70% of East Ayrshire homes

                       – Cut carbon dioxide emissions by 76,000 tonnes

                       – Help Scotland reach its target to produce 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020

2. The proposed community benefit fund is equivalent to an annual payment of £3,000 per Megawatt (MW) of installed generating capacity. This would produce an annual ‘royalty’ to the community of up to £202,500 (based on the output of 27 turbines of 67.5MW), or £5.06million over the 25 year lifespan of the development. The payment would be fixed and would not fluctuate with production, to guarantee stable funding. The exact vehicle for delivering this resource to local community projects will be determined in close consultation with community representatives.

3. As part of the future planning application, Burcote Wind will need to compile a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to identify the potential impact of building the wind farm on the local environment, ecology and plant and animal life. The EIA must demonstrate that the benefits of developing the site clearly outweigh any potentially negative impacts. In addition, Burcote Wind will have to demonstrate how the site can be physically and ecologically restored following the 25 year lifespan of the wind farm. A planning application will not be submitted until the summer of 2012 at the earliest.

4. Burcote Wind is an independent renewable energy company based in Dunfermline, Scotland, but active throughout the UK. The company specialises in onshore wind energy projects from the identification and design stage right through to construction and operation.

5. According to the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS), in 2010 the total number of households in Dumfries and Galloway was 68,408 and the total number of households in East Ayrshire was 53,722. The Sandy Knowe proposal, capable of generating enough electricity to power 37,743 homes, could therefore power the equivalent of 55% of households in Dumfries and Galloway and 70% of households in East Ayrshire.

6. For more information, please contact Orbit Communications on 0131 257 4232 or contact@orbit-comms.co.uk.

ENDS

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