Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Turbines in the Tay

Dundee Road Bridge from Fife

Dundee has one of the most attractive city scapes in the country. As a child I used to marvel at the view across the river Tay to Fife from many city streets but the town councillors were never talented enough to pass the better plans to develop the waterfront into one of Scotland's finest. Long before the 1960s some town architects and planners had spectacular ideas which never gained planning approval and instead, in the 1960s, it was decided to demolish the waterfront and bring the road bridge right into the city centre, accompanied by monstrous buildings such as Tayside House.

In recent years the town council have acknowledged the waterfront area is a disaster and buildings such as Tayside House are to be demolished to make way for the 'Dundee Waterfront Vision' which hopefully will include a branch of the V & A. The whole project will be exceptionally expensive but Dundee deserves some tender loving care. In days gone by it contributed greatly to the Scottish economy with little reward.

However, now the Port of Dundee (owned by Forth Ports PLC) want to place two giant wind turbines in the river. The plan for the 127 metre high structures at Stannergate (not far from the city centre) will ruin the city's skyline angry residents have claimed. Forth Ports and Scottish & Southern Energy have claimed Dundee could become a 'powerhouse' of renewable energy if the turbines are given the go-ahead.

Placing two windmills in the middle of one of the most lovely estuaries in the UK is certainly not going to enhance the view from either side of the river. These monstrosities are completely inappropriate for the city's new waterfront.

It's nothing to do with Dundee being a 'powerhouse' for renewables either and I agree with residents that this plan is all to do with Forth Ports wanting to make money and nothing to do with Dundee. If renewable energy was the reason why haven't tidal and wave power been considered?

A spokesman for Forth Energy said: "At this stage of the project we are keen to hear from local residents and stakeholders to get their view on our proposals." You will, believe me, you will hear from those interested. Why this project has reached this stage defeats me. Once again, Dundee town councillors have let the people down by allowing this project to reach this stage.

Have a look at the animation video and imagine two 127 foot wind turbines just yards from the shore. It's enough to make even the toughest Dundonian weep.


hatfield girl said...

You may be facing the European Union ecomafia. There are subsidies to be farmed from wind turbines, and huge profits from the building works and urbanisation associated with setting up windmills and electricity pylons. Places without roads or vehicular access suddenly have roads and services. Then they get settlements and development - often smack in the middle of otherwise completely protected areas of natural beauty.

I know this because our entire zone, village councils, local owners, and the various regional and even national defence of areas of outstanding natural beauty had to get together to fight these people off. And nothing was known about the planning until they were almost ready to start tearing up the landscape.

This is nothing to do with green energy supply, it's to do with exploiting protected countryside. As was remarked, there might as well have been a project for using wave power in the Sahara as pretending to generate wind power electricity from our countryside, but there is a great deal to be made from breaking the no development controls. For reasons I don't know, much of this corruption has Spanish-based EU connections.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Hats is right.

The windmills will produce around 10-15% of the boasted output, unpredictably and uncontrollably: quite useless for any practical purposes.

But then, electricity generation has nothing to do with it; it's all about subsidy farming.

Oldrightie said...

Wind turbines really are a dreadful genuflection to the AGW mafia!

Anonymous said...

Hi Subrosa want a sneak preview?

still building it any comments or ideas?

subrosa said...

Hi HG you're right. That's happening in a small community here. They have 4 on a hillside and that's in a beautiful area of Scotland too.

subrosa said...

I'll be quite happy to picket the council buildings when council meetings are on about this WY. Thought my days were long over doing that but it seems no.

subrosa said...

Stuck in one of the most lovely estuaries indeed they are OR. It won't happen. I'm going to make a great effort to help with protests.

subrosa said...

Coming to see it now UKWS. :)

subrosa said...

UKWS, it's looking good. You need an email address in a prominent position though for folks to make contact.

I've given it a wee mention on the live budget post and will do a post, if you'd like, once you're happy with it.

I like the design. It's much easier for me to read with black on white.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

I don't know the tide rates in the estuary Rosa, but wave I think would be struggling to make any impact and, for me, all the haste to build wind farms has a Klondike quality of more promise than substance.

I'm all for renewables and all for communities having a stake in them but their impact on the environment has to be seriously considered. And the claim by Forth Ports and Scottish Energy of turning Dundee into a 'powerhouse' would suggest there are far more than two being considered.

Dark Lochnagar said...

N.I.M.B.Y.ism strikes Dundee!

subrosa said...

There are already turbines in Dundee RA but near an industrial area towards the north. That area of course isn't owned by Forth Ports, only the dock area is so that's why they want them there.

I'm totally against this as there's little point in spending millions on the restructure of the waterfront only to stick 2 turbines in the front of it. Bit like buying a house will a spectacular view and then putting a telegraph pole in front of the windows.

subrosa said...

Too right DL, too right! If Forth Ports want them they can stick them in the Forth!

subrosa said...

I'm posting this on behalf of Brian Doon the Toon because he's having problems getting into comments.

The turbines aren't 127 FEET in height - the first plan was for THREE turbines, each 135 Metres from ground to tip; that's 443 FEET.
To put that into context...
The Law is 571 feet. The tip of these turbines' blades, as originally planned, would be within 130 feet of the Law's summit.
It would appear, from the latest story, that Forth Energy have been persuaded that two, slightly smaller, turbines would be the way forward. Hence the latest plan for two 127 METRE (417 FEET) towers.
Then add into this scenic mix the 300 FEET chimney planned for the Forth Energy biomass plant.

Reminds me of a famous postcard of Dundee showing all the jute mill lums...

Brian, Doon the Toon.

subrosa said...

I apologise Brian, I should have checked the height. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Much appreciated.

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