HOUSEHOLDERS should withdraw their business from energy firms involved in developing wind farms throughout the countryside, said a local turbine protest group this week.
Airriequhillart wind farm protesters made the suggestion in the same week as news came that RES, the company building a five-turbine site at Barcloy Hill in the Stewartry had offered affected residents a reduction in their electricity bills for the lifetime of the project (25 years).
The Airriequhillart protest group, which is fighting EDF’s plans to erect 18 turbines, accuses EDF and other developers of making false claims about the effects of their turbine sites.
The chief executive of EDF attended a meeting in Whithorn recently at which he told a gathering of local business people – many of whom make their living from tourism – that he believed wind turbine sites had no effect on virtually anything.
He also argued that there was no case for compensation, no matter how close the turbines were to a property.
In the case of Airriequhillart, all 18 turbines fall within the recognised two-kilometre guideline for the distance from occupied properties.
A spokesman for the Airriequhillart wind farm protest group said: “They are treating the people of south-west Scotland with complete and utter contempt. How thick do they think we are? The most likely reason they claim there are no figures to prove that property with a wind farm dumped next to it has lost value is that no-one has ever been able to sell one.
“Their other claims are just as daft. Do they think we are all just dim-witted bumpkins, happy to be trodden over while they grab billions of taxpayers’ money to whisk off to France, compliments of Alex Salmond’s stupidity?
“What gives them the right to march into Scotland, destroy a stunning lowland valley and the lives of the people who live there? Some have a lifetime’s savings tied up in a property which is now virtually unsellable.”
The group is calling on homeowners and businesses to hit EDF where it hurts – in its balance sheets – by switching to an energy supplier not directly involved in building wind turbine sites.
On its website, EDF Energy Renewables says it will examine all the potential environmental effects during the construction, operation and decommissioning of the wind farm, with particular attention paid to landscape and visual impact, traffic and infrastructure, noise, ecology and shadow flicker, among others.