Wind farm developer consults local communities on proposed offshore wind farm

Web EditorNews

Wind farm developer, Mainstream Renewable Power, is inviting local people to have their say on the proposed Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm at a series of free community consultation exhibitions being held in November 2010.

In February 2009, Mainstream was awarded the exclusive rights by the Scottish Government to develop the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm, which will be located about 15.5 km east of Fife Ness. One of four proposed wind farms in the Firth of Forth/Firth of Tay region, Neart na Gaoithe was chosen for its development suitability, combining acceptable water depth and ground conditions, low shipping densities and optimal wind speeds.

Communities and sea users in Fife [Angus] who may see some impact from Neart na Gaoithe form a key part of the development’s consultation process.

Commenting on the consultation exhibitions, Mainstream’s Zoe Crutchfield said: “It’s very important for us that the local community has plenty of opportunity to get their opinions heard and to voice any concerns they may have so that their views are taken into account.  We have already undertaken extensive scoping work and identified key people issues, such as fishing and aviation radar, which we are addressing directly with those who will be most affected. Now it’s the community’s turn and that’s why we are holding these exhibitions”.

Local wildlife issues are also under consideration, with the potential impact on birds and marine mammal populations considered to be key issues for this development. Extensive, long term marine mammal and bird surveys are currently taking place: their outcomes will be analysed and fed into the overall development plans.

“We understand that wind farm developments can lead to some polarised views, especially where wildlife is concerned so we want to show that we are taking wildlife and environmental issues very seriously. Coming along to an event will let people see the steps we are taking to ensure that environmental impacts are minimised.”

The free community consultation dates are:

St Andrews: Tuesday, 23rd November 2010
Holy Trinity Church Hall, Queen’s Terrace, 12.00pm to 8.00pm.

Crail: Wednesday 24th November 2010
Crail Community Hall, St Andrews Road, 12.00pm to 8.00pm.

Carnoustie: Tuesday 30th November 2010
Training Studio, Carnoustie Leisure Centre, 12.00pm to 8.00pm.

At each event there will be a small exhibition on the proposed wind farm, computer simulations of how it might look from the shore and members of the Mainstream team to answer visitors’ questions. All are welcome to attend and all venues are fully accessible.