Public to see wind turbine plans

GLAXOSMITHKLINE has given a vote of confidence to its Montrose workforce with a proposal to invest £8 million in building two wind turbines.

The public will have the opportunity to view the proposals, which are not yet the subject of a formal application to Angus Council, at an all-day exhibition on September 15.

The pharmaceutical company will hold the exhibition in the Links Hotel on that day, from 12 noon until 8pm.

Artists’ impressions of the turbines will be available for the exhibition, and GSK staff plus wind farm advisors will be present to answer questions.

A spokesman for GSK told the Review that the turbines would generate enough electricity to make a considerable cost saving to the company, and thereby reduce the running costs of the site.

It was revealed that the turbines would be around 130 metres in height, to the tallest blade tip, which is 10 metres more than those at the Michelin factory in Dundee.

The plan is to generate six megawatts of electricity by 2013, which would be the amount required to supply 3,000 homes with power.

The spokesman went on to say that to achieve that level of electricity generation the 130-metre height would be necessary.

He added that a huge amount of work has to be done ahead of a planning application, including months of monitoring the area’s birds.

An environmental impact assessment has been under way since the end of 2010, and still has some time to run.

The spokesman continued: “We have involved Scottish Natural Heritage, the RSPB and anybody else who might have an interest in the flora and fauna of the locality.

“The consultants doing this have almost a year’s worth of consultation with various bodies doing the monitoring work.

“Somebody is monitoring in a very specific way the bird flights across the Montrose site in the area where the turbines would go.

“That work will come to a conclusion this autumn and we will have a full year’s worth of data.”

Wind conditions have also been closely monitored, and the GSK spokesman went on: “One of the things you do in preparation for this is to put up a meteorological mast from which you monitor wind strength over the site, and wind direction.

“You monitor wind conditions for about a year. We have a bit to go, but early indications are that the wind across the site is viable for a couple of wind turbines.”

They would make the site essentially self-sufficient.

All of the electricity generated would go into a local network, and surplus electricity generated would reduce the amount of power generated for the national grid, thereby reducing the amount of carbon dioxide created by conventional generation.