Another step towards a wind farm above Helensburgh has been taken, with a planning application for an anemometer being submitted.
The 50-metre mast would be used to collect wind speed data for two years at a site two kilometres north of the town.
The plan has been submitted by Green Cat Renewables Ltd on behalf of the Helensburgh Community Development Trust, which wants the data before building five 86-metre turbines.
The turbines would be visible from areas including the Rosneath Peninsula, Dunoon, Inverclyde and parts of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
And as revealed here last year, an initial scoping report by Argyll and Bute Council said that to fit in with planning guidelines the turbines would need to be 50-metres or less, and the proposed scale ‘may result in very significant adverse landscape and visual impacts’.
But the trust argues that the site above Helensburgh already has electricity pylons and an oil pipeline going through it, so the turbines ‘will not change its essential character’.
The total cost of the project is expected to be £7.8m; as long as the project is in profit the community would receive a minimum of £40,000 annually, with the average community benefit predicted to be around £130,000 rising to £550,000 after 12 years when the loan has been repaid.
The project is being planned in conjunction with Green Cat Renewables and Luss Estates.
The development trust would take the first £40,000 in any year, with a three-way split between the partners only kicking in after the £120,000 barrier is passed.
The mast would be 150mm in diameter, with guy wires and three ‘jibs’ at different heights to support instruments.
Green Cat say there will be no buildings or permanent foundations, and although it will be visible from houses and local roads its cross section is about that of a power line pole.
Details of the wind speed monitoring mast application are on the council website – search for reference number 14/00797/PP