Councillors support plans for offshore windfarm

Slains viewpoint: The turbines will be visible from Buchan landmark Slains Castle.
Slains viewpoint: The turbines will be visible from Buchan landmark Slains Castle.

Aberdeen Offshore Windfarm Limited recently asked members of the Buchan Area Committee to give their views on the proposal for 11 wind turbines, which are to be located offshore, within Aberdeen Bay.

Comments made by councillors will be submitted to the ICS which will then finalise the views and pass them onto Marine Scotland who are determining authority for this application.

The turbines are much larger than any which have already been approved within the Aberdeenshire area, with a maximum hub height of 120m and a rotor diameter of 150m - the height to the tip therefore being 195m.

The most southerly turbine will be to the east of Blackdog, and the remaining turbines are to be positioned in a regular pattern northwards to east of Balmedie, and the turbines are likely to be visible from Buchan viewpoint, Slains Castle, this being approximately 20km from the turbines.

Some 420 letters have been received by Marine Scotland, with 406 in support of the application and 14 objecting.

Councillor Norman Smith said it was good to see turbines offshore rather than onshore.

“It’s about time these turbines were done in the sea. There’s no more room on land for them, particularly in Banff and Buchan. It wouldn’t make a difference to that specific area with all the ships that are out there anyway. It’s the ideal place for the turbines,” he said.

Councillor Anne Allan added: “I’m delighted with this as offshore wind is definitely the way forward. I was recently visiting Caithness where they have offshore turbines and they looked very small in the distance. We actually stopped to look at them because they were so unusual.

“These turbines at the Aberdeen Bay would be no more of an eyesore than all of the ships anchored there.”

Councillor Alan Buchan said the turbines could become a concern for the area.

He warned: “This is one of the busiest areas in Aberdeenshire. You can see the turbines on a nice sunny day, but what happens when there’s darkness, snow storms or fog?

“They could be a great danger to the ships.”

Overall the Buchan councillors saw the positive aspects of the turbines to be located at Aberdeen Bay, and David Rodger, EOWDC project spokesperson, said: “The project partners welcome the positive response to the proposals for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre from Aberdeenshire Council’s Buchan Area Committee.”