Douglas Valley applies for two wind turbines

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 15, 2011 14:40

Douglas Valley Golf Club in Bolton has applied to its local council to install two wind turbines on its golf course.

A spokesman for the club said: “The wind turbines will produce electricity for the complex. It is also hoped that some income will be generated from the sale of surplus electricity exported to the National Grid. Careful thought has been given to site of the turbines to minimise any detrimental effects on the landscape.”

The club is also hoping to build a wood-fuelled biomass plant electricity generator on a farm by the course, which will power several local houses and generate thousands of pounds in revenue for the club.

Golf Club Management revealed recently how much money golf clubs can make from installing wind turbines: Allendale Golf Club in Northumberland, for instance, is paid 26.7p/kWh by the government as part of its Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme, from the turbines, and uses the electricity generated to power the clubhouse, thus reducing energy bills. Energy not used is then sold to the National Grid, ensuring the club brings in thousands of pounds in income each year. Alness and Whitehead golf clubs have financially benefitted from similar schemes.

However, almost every wind turbine proposal is met by local opposition. An ‘environmental action group’ that is opposed to the development at Douglas Valley has been set up. A spokesman said: “We would like to know if these turbines would be instead of the wood burner or as well as. If it’s both, the amount of electricity that will be generated from that area will be phenomenal.

“There is a concern over noise and the fact it is on greenbelt land.”

He added that the turbines would be almost 100 feet high. Another objector said that the infrasound produced by the turbines impact on the health of people living nearby.

Responding, Paul Downes, owner of the course, said: “They are small-scale wind turbines. If they are noisy near the houses we can turn them off.

“There are five phone masts in the vicinity; they are more harmful than wind turbines.”

Local councillor, Stephen Laycock, added: “I am a lover of wind turbines. They are one of the best renewable energy sources and an appropriate development in the green belt.

“The comment if it gets noisy we will turn it off is after the event, and I think we need assurances before the event that wind turbines will not exceed the background noise, particularly at night.”

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 15, 2011 14:40
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