Turbine set to power benefits

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The FINAL sections of a wind turbine designed to power investment into the Udny community arrived on site last week, and is soon set to begin generating electricity for the grid.

The community-owned 800Kw turbine, which stands over 250 feet tall, is certain to become a recognisable landmark in the area. As well as generating clean electricity, those behind the project hope that it will generate significant sums of money to benefit the community in other ways.

When the Ellon Times visited the site at Tillymaud on Wednesday 4 May, engineers from Scottish and Southern Energy were making the preparations needed to connect the turbine to the electrical grid. However, further up the hill at the turbine site, construction workers were unable to begin lifting the final sections into place, ironically because the breeze was too strong to work the crane safely.

“It just proves that we’ve picked the right spot!”, said project spokesman Brian McDougal. “It’s been tremendous to see the turbine arriving on site. We’ve been working on this for 4-5 years, so to finally see something tangible there is quite something.

Explaining that progress on site had been good, Mr McDougal continued: “The grid connection is ready, and that’s something we’d really like to thank Scottish and Southern Energy for. It was important to get all the underground work done before the heavy lorries arrived with the turbine, and they have been very amenable to our timescales.

“Weather permitting, construction is likely to finish this week, and commissioning will begin the week after”, he added. “We’ve got to run the turbine for 300 hours as a test before it gets connected to the grid, just so we can be confident that everything is working as it should.

“We’ve made sure that we’ve involved the community a lot with this project. We’ve got the first general meeting of the Community Trust being held on the 21 June, and a new set of directors will be elected to take matters forward from there.”

The trust expects to secure around £100,000 each year for the first ten years of operation, and £250,000 per year thereafter, leading to a cumulative sum of nearly £5m over the next two decades.