I attended the display in the school campus at Plains this evening by Your Energy, regarding their application for a windfarm north of Midtown/Easterton Farm between Plains, Caldercruix and Longriggend. The development is still at an early stage so some questions couldn’t be answered. Some questions I asked were:
How many turbines do they intend to install? Eleven
How this will affect the price of electricity in the local area? The cost of installing renewable installations costs each family on average £9 a year. Proximity to a windfarm does not reduce energy costs.
How many conventional power stations will close because of the development? None.
What will happen to all the water displaced from the soil, and which areas are likely to be flooded as a result? Not known yet until technical studies are carried out.
Apparently a planning application has already been approved for a windfarm at Greengairs, directly adjacent to the Caldercruix application. This would mean a combined windfarm roughly from Meikle Drumgray to Longriggend, a distance west to east of around 4km.
Given the nature of the land and the Scottish Governments current stance on renewables I can see this application being given the go ahead. One of the things offered by the company as a sweetener was a ‘Community Benefit’, where money from the company goes to the communities affected by the windfarm. Having looked quickly at these I can see that some of these bring in a very small amount per year, mostly in the four figure sum region, generally between £1,000 and £2,000. Not a lot, and by the looks of thing North Lanarkshire Council already have their eyes on it, as it would appear it may go in to some kind of ‘communal pot’ to be shared across affected areas, which within a few years could mean a considerable portion of the area.