Ardbeg turbines already attracting interest

The view across Rothesay Bay to the new wind turbines erected near Ardbeg farm. (Pic by Sue Dennis.)

The view across Rothesay Bay to the new wind turbines erected near Ardbeg farm. (Pic by Sue Dennis.)

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THE newest additions to Bute’s skyline are already attracting interest from island residents keen to find out how they, too, can benefit from the power of wind.

Three turbines erected on land south-west of Ardbeg farm for Jim and Janet McAlister have provoked a good deal of public comment – the vast majority of it favourable. And while the turbines, each of which has a hub height of 15.6 metres and a rotor diameter of 10.8m, are not yet fully operational, there are already signs that they may be just the first of several small-scale wind power developments around Bute.

“It took quite a lot of time to get the whole thing organised,” Mrs McAlister told The Buteman, “but we got there in the end, and opinion so far looks genuinely favourable.

“I think there will be a few landowners interested – we’ve already been approached by a couple of people who are interested in finding out more about what wind power could do for them.”

Reeni Kennedy-Boyle, project manager of Towards Zero Carbon Bute, which was set up with the aim of reducing the island’s carbon footprint, said: “Towards Zero Carbon Bute welcomes individual initiative to help the Isle of Bute become one hundred renewable and carbon neutral.

“It is TZCB’s hope that as a community we are able to progress further with projects that will deliver wider community benefits such as job creation and a fund for insulation programmes and other projects.”

Not everyone is in favour of the new turbines, however; Frank Hill, who owns The Moorings guest house in Mountstuart Road, has written a letter to this week’s issue calling them “a total blight on the hillside”.

“They are the first thing people see when they come over on the ferry,” Mr Hill told The Buteman. “It’s not that I’m anti-green, but there’s a place for everything, and that’s not the place for a wind farm.”

Responding to the turbines’ critics, Mrs McAlister acknowledged: “There will be people who don’t like them, but you can’t please everyone all the time.”

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