Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Straid wind farm # 11

Just in time for Thursday's public exhibition by ecotricity, there is now a new tourist feature in Lendalfoot - Straid Farm wind farm met' mast. Unfortunately, most exhibition visitors will not be able to see the mast, since the exhibition doesn't start until 4PM - by which time it will be pretty dark. Below is a map showing the position of the mast in relation to the proposed turbine positions:

The blue lines on the map are some of the best places to view the mast and get a feel for the scale of the proposed turbines. The mast is visible from many more locations - I have simply marked some of the positions that provide easy access. It is also worth remembering that this is a single, pencil thin mast - the turbine towers would be considerably fatter, more prominent and a lot more numerous.

To truly understand the scale of the proposed turbines, a further 30 metres (or 98 feet) have to be added on to the top of the mast to get to the maximum blade tip elevation (that's an extra 30%). So, essentially, the mast represents 70% of the height of the proposed turbines. A second way of looking at the mast is to consider that it represents the rotor diameter (that's the arc described by the blades whilst in motion) since they are both 70 metres, and mentally 'mount' the centre of the existing mast on top of another mast which is just 6 metres shorter. Pretty big then.

If you drive along the section of road leading past Cundry Mains (the bit furthest inland on the map) and look across to the mast, you really do get an idea of just how dominant these structures would be in relation to the valley, whilst looking north from The Garth will give you an idea of how out of place they will be when set against the hills. I will take some pictures of the mast from various locations on the next good day that I'm in the area, and mark on them a line of comparison for the turbine elevations. In the meantime, if you think this development is a good idea, how about taking a look at the mast from some of the suggested locations - and perhaps reconsider your opinion, remember, these things will be in Lendalfoot for at least 25-30 years.