A planning application has been submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council for a 12-turbine wind farm on land at Shennanton, Kirkcowan.
PNE Wind UK’s application would see the 100-metre-high turbines crop up on land north of Kirkcowan, not far from Shennanton House with access taken between the Bennan and Stony Park plantations.
Megan Richardson from PNE attended a meeting of Cree Valley Commuity Council on Monday to answer questions on the project and said the 30-MW turbines could potentially provide power for16,000 homes.
She added that there would be a community benenfit fund of £5,000 per megawatt for 25 years – amounting to a potential £150,000 a year for up to 25 years. The fund would be managed by three community councils - Cree Valley, Wigtown and Kirkcowan. A community liaison group has been set up so discuss this but she added that a variety of community groups will be eligible to apply for cash from the fund.
Council member David Inglis asked if there would be potential for the farm to double in size in the future.
Miss Richardson replied: “It’s highly unlikely given the sensitivity of the area that we would look to go any bigger than we already are.”
She added that a bond is in place preventing the company from “running off”, ensuring cash is in safeguarded for the decomissioning of the site either after 25 years or when the company decides to cease operating it.
Several representations have been lodged against the plans which will now be determined by the council’s planning authority. If approved, it will be a number of years before the site is operational.