Wind farm opposed by Donald Trump to test land

THE consortium behind the offshore wind farm being opposed by Donald Trump today announced plans to begin exploratory tests at the landfall site for the controversial development in response to community concerns about possible contaminated land in the area.
Donald Trump on his Menie golf course. Picture: PADonald Trump on his Menie golf course. Picture: PA
Donald Trump on his Menie golf course. Picture: PA

• Concerns over contaminated land at the proposed site for a wind farm opposed by Donald Trump has led to the consortium behind the development to announce exploratory tests on the site

• Onshore substation at Blackdog, close to Trump’s Menia golf course, has received 62 letters of protest from residents

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The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) is seeking planning permission for an onshore substation at Blackdog, close to Trump’s Menie golf resort, as part of the plan for the £230 million demonstrator wind farm in Aberdeen Bay.

A total of 62 out of 85 residents in the hamlet of Blackdog have written official letters of protest against the substation proposal to Aberdeenshire Council.

The 11 turbine wind farm development in Aberdeen Bay is being spearheaded by Swedish company Vattenfall - Europe’s sixth-largest generator of electricity - together with the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (Areg), and engineering company Technip Offshore Wind. The cutting-edge project is a demonstration facility for next generation wind turbines, which could herald massive investment in Scotland’s renewables infrastructure and drive Scotland’s offshore wind energy ambitions.

A spokeswoman for the consortium said: “The next phase of onshore works for the EOWDC is set to start next week at Blackdog, in response to community concerns about possible contaminated land in the area.

“Surveys and exploratory tests will be carried out as part of site investigation work which was requested by Formartine Area Committee following a public hearing into the planning application for the onshore works’ side of the EOWDC project.”

She explained: “The work, which involves a geotechnical survey and a series of trial pits and boreholes, is part of further land investigations and an environmental impact assessment which will inform an Environmental Impact Assessment. Works are expected to last between three to four weeks with the project partners aiming to complete it as early as possible.

“There will also be long-term groundwater and gas monitoring via standpipes which will remain in situ for several months to allow samples to be taken in different atmospheric conditions.”

Iain Todd, the project spokesman, said: “The surveys and tests being carried out are in response to concerns raised by the local community and Formartine Area Committee with regard to our planning application for a cable route and substation compound on land to the south-east of Blackdog village.

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“If these works find that there is contaminated land in the area, and if we gain consent for the scheme, the developers will clean up this area of ground.”

The proposed onshore development would comprise two electricity substation buildings and ancillary works on land south of Hareburn Terrace in Blackdog and an underground cable route between the substation site and landfall.

Mr Trump has already launched a legal challenge against the Scottish Government’s decision to approve the plans for the EOWDC and is also objecting to the associated onshore development.