Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Wind Turbine Installations - What Few See
A friend of mine lives in Kenmore, a bonny wee village which nestles at the east end of Loch Tay. Her nearest town is Aberfeldy, a short drive away. For those of you who have never visited the area it is an area of startling scenic beauty and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Robert Burns wrote a song about the Birks of Aberfeldy and this particular area is a magnet for walkers and cyclists.
Between Aberfeldy and Dunkeld is Griffin Forest, known nationally as part of Perthshire's Big Tree country. The whole area is referred to locally as 'the Griffin'.
The locals of Aberfeldy and surrounding districts have long protested about the creation of Scotland's third-largest wind farm on the Griffin, but sadly they lost their fight and the wind farm is now underway. It was opposed by Perth and Kinross council but the matter went to a public inquiry, following which the Scottish government decided the plan should go ahead.
I've heard first-hand about the months of inconvenience to road users - there is very little public transport in this area - with the months spent altering bridges and strengthening and widening roads, which can support the delivery of the £200 million development's 68 turbines; each with 125-metre blades.
Until I watched this video, showing a trial run of the transport vehicles, I had no real concept about the length of the vehicles which will travel from Rosyth under police escort. Four deliveries are planned a week, one on a Monday and Tuesday and two on a Wednesday, when there will be morning and afternoon trips. This process will continue until October.
Not only will it affect the local area, the roads from Rosyth to the Griffin will also face problems with the convoy of three abnormal load vehicles and at least one additional escort vehicle; delaying journey times. Tayside police has indicated that it may take up to 90 minutes to reach the site from the A9. If I say it would take me about 15 minutes for that journey it will give some idea of the disruption this will cause. The local area will lose £millions in tourist revenue this year as traffic will not divert from the A9.
The only people who want this wind farm appear to be the Scottish government who are determined to hit their carbon targets; the same targets which could be met in simpler and more sensible ways.