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Windfarm set to get more powerful

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By Abbey Morton
Dumfries and West
Windfarm set to get more powerful

COUNCILLORS have given their unanimous backing to increase the generation capacity at the consented Sandy Knowe Windfarm.

The permission, applied for by renewable power producer ERG, would increase the capacity of the project, based near Kirkconnel, from 48MW to 81.6MW, harnessing advances in technology to replace the previously consented turbines with more powerful models, without increasing the number or height.

The increase in capacity would also increase the Community Benefit Fund from £240,000 up to £408,000 a year.

The move is now subject to final approval from the Scottish Government. Mark Evans, head of UK development at ERG said: “We are grateful for the council’s continuing support and hope that Scottish ministers will recognise the backing from the local community when making their final decision to allow the increased capacity. ERG is fully committed to Sandy Knowe and we have already commenced development on the consented project, with local Dumfries based AMD Contract Services Ltd having begun the first enabling works in January 2019.”

Norman Burns, of the Upper Nithsdale Community Trust said: “The increased capacity would see the community benefit rise from up to £240,000 per annum to up to £408,000, resulting in a very positive impact for the local area. “We are also very pleased to be able to invest in the project and take up the shared ownership option being offered by ERG. This project provides many benefits to our communities and we hope Scottish Minister’s will listen to our community and approve the application to increase the capacity.”

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