Ard Ghaoth Wind Farm Plans Shelved by Developer

by Laura Berry

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Mark Dowdall, director with Banks RenewablesPlans for a wind farm near Stirling have been shelved by developers after a long-term study of the wind levels in the area.

 Banks Renewables has announced it no longer intends to submit a planning application for the Ard Ghaoth Wind Farm near Drymen.

The Hamilton-based company first put its planning application on hold in May last year after six months of wind data from the site revealed surprisingly poor wind speeds.

Since then it has carried out further extensive wind testing and has now taken the decision not to proceed any further with its wind farm plans at the site.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group said: “Obviously we are disappointed as this location was ideal for development in so many ways. However, you can’t have a wind farm when there simply isn’t enough wind.

“Exhaustive tests lasted well over a year to make sure any quirks or anomalies were accounted for and this has confirmed that the wind levels here are low compared to what we would normally expect to find.

 

Landowners

“We’d also like to thank all of those who worked with us during this process, including the landowners, community councillors and all of the members of the public who responded to surveys and took time to give us feedback.

“Our approach is always to work in partnership with local communities and to ensure our developments deliver long-term, tangible benefits for local people, including jobs and training opportunities.

“It’s a real shame we won’t be able to take that further at Ard Ghaoth.”

Banks Renewables outlined plans for 10 turbines at the site, which could have generated up to 20MW of clean, green energy. The site was identified in Stirling Council’s Local Plan as potentially suitable for a wind farm development.

A variety of independent sources, including data from surrounding wind farm sites, information from NOABL, which provides national wind speed information and Met Office research, all suggested the site would be ideal for a wind farm.

However, a 60m wind mast and wind data monitoring equipment was erected in December 2011 and since then has built up a complete picture of the wind resource, which is far lower than expected.

Banks Renewables remains committed to supporting the Scottish Government’s drive towards producing all of the energy consumed in the country through renewable means and still has a number of other wind farm proposals under consideration in Scotland.

Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group (www.banksgroup.co.uk), a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs 400 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors. The company’s Development with Care approach underpins all its work, driving community consultation and environmental excellence.

Public relations in Scotland for Banks Renewables is handled by Scottish PR agency Holyrood Partnership

Private: Laura Berry

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