Offshore wind farm in the frame for Methil

Pic by Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Pic by Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Plans have been submitted that would see a nine-turbine wind farm built just 2km off the coast at Methil.

Turbine developer 2-B Energy has planning permission to erect two turbines at its Forthwind project in the Firth of Forth, which it intends to have operational by next summer.

Now the company, which has its UK base in Aberdour, has submitted a scoping report with Marine Scotland to erect a further seven turbines, which it says would form a ‘powerblock’.

Scott Harper, commercial manager at 2-B, said it was awaiting a response from Marine Scotland to its latest proposal.

He said: “We need to see if Marine Scotland require more detail from us for this scoping report.

“Once that process is completed then we will begin working on gaining planning permission.”

Should consent be given then 2-B is hopeful that the seven additional turbines would be in place by 2020.

“It’s a chance for us to demonstrate our new offshore wind technology and the Forth is the ideal location,” he said.

“Obviously we will hold public consultations nearer the time and all the information that people will want will be mapped out in due course.”

Scott said there would be benefits for the area should permission be granted for the turbines which would be built 1.5-2km into the Forth, standing at 185m high.

He said: “In terms of the actual construction that will obviously generate some economic activity in the area and there is also the added benefit of renewable, green energy which is one of the Scottish Government’s targets.”

He added: “We appreciate that there will be some concerns over the visual impact.”

But one local resident said the project was “just a big scam”.

Graham Lang, who has previously objected to the erection of turbines in the Levenmouth area, said there would be no additional employment.

“As far as the Scottish Government are concerned they will have a vested interest because the turbines will be built on land belonging to Crown Estates land and the government will receive a large rent for it,” he said.

“If you think of looking out over the Forth from Edinburgh from somewhere like Arthur’s Seat or the castle, then the Forth Estuary will become like an industrial landscape.

“There will be turbines of different sizes, with different turning speeds. They will just be a blot on the landscape.

“I don’t know what people coming to see the great sights of Edinburgh will think sailing up the Forth on a cruise ship, passing through a wind farm.”

However, local councillor Tom Adams said he was relaxed about the prospect of a wind farm.

“I’m quite happy that they’re going out there,” he said.

“I would rather have wind turbines than fracking or underground coal gasification in the area.

“We need energy, so where are we going to get it from? Most people are against things like gas or coal power stations.

“I’m an ex-miner, I would love to see pits opening up again but in realty, that ain’t going to happen.

“I’m in favour of this.”

Cllr Adams said he did have one or two questions regarding the project which he hopes will stay as local as possible.

He said: “Where will the connector come from? And where will they be built?

“From our point of view we would like to see them built in Methil.

“2-B are a Fife-based company so I’d like to see a guarantee on that one and I’d certainly give them my blessing if that was to happen.”