Sparks fly over cable for university windfarm
St Andrews University has dismissed claims by campaigners that a proposed 33,000 volt cable at Kenly windfarm would pose a health risk.
Protesters against the windfarm plan voiced ‘shock and horror’ after a report appeared to suggest that two such cables would run within a few feet of nearby homes.
And they fear that it means the university has ‘secret plans’ to double the size of the windfarm in future.
However, the university says there is just one cable – and that to suggest it poses a risk is ‘nonsense.’
Plans for a six-turbine windfarm, which would provide energy for the university itself, have already been approved but have been put on hold while the university and the MoD try to thrash out a solution to the issue of radar interference.
North east Fife planning committee is due to consider the university’s application for the cable and a substation at its meeting on August 10.
The cable is needed to connect the wind farm at Kenly to a substation at North Haugh in St Andrews.
Graham Lang, spokesman for Kenly Landscape Protection Group, said: “The university is still refusing to consult local community councils or neighbours about its illogical planning application to connect a wind farm at Boarhills to St Andrews via Cameron and the A915.
“The local community has been starved of detailed information about the damage, disruption and risks this will entail, and people are worried sick.
“So it really takes the biscuit that we now learn the all-important detail of the real size of cabling by chance at the eleventh hour.
“Two 33,000 volt cables provide far more capacity than the six 100m turbines consented at Kenly require, so the only reason for the increase must be that the university has an ambition to expand the wind farm at some future point.
“33,000 volt cables will require larger trenches and create even more damage to roads, verges, hedges and trees.
“They also significantly up the health risk for people living nearby.”
However, a spokesman for the university described KLPG’s claims as ‘false’ and ‘irresponsible.’ He said there was only one cable, which had to be 33,000 volts to cover the length of the proposed route to avoid electrical losses and a rise in voltage.
“It is simply nonsense to suggest otherwise,” he said. “We have no ambition to expand the wind farm.
“The 33kv cable will not require a larger trench than an 11kv cable and will categorically not create more damage or pose a health risk. The cable will comply fully with Government guidelines.”