DUNS LEES HILl SOS

'SAVE OUR SKYLINE'

Fred Olsen have recently submitted a proposal to the Scottish Government to build a ‘Renewable Energy Park’on Langton Lees Farm to the South of Hardens Hill. This will cover a significant proportion of the area between the Duns to Longformacus road and the Duns to Westruther road.

info@dunsleeshillsos.com 

The proposal consists of 6 x 200m wind turbines, almost 70 hectares (say 100 football pitches (1) ) of reflective solar panels, a battery storage system made of large containers holding batteries, an onsite substation and temporary construction compounds. 

Are you aware:·       

Of the scale of the turbines?
• At 200m (656 ft) they would be as tall as any onshore turbines in the country (2),
• They would have blades of 75m in length (3),
• They are 2.5 times taller than the Black Hill turbines on the north side of Hardens Hill which are ‘only’ 78m (256ft) tall (4). Lees Hill turbines will be unconstrained by the natural landscape as the smaller turbines are.
  
That they are so tall they will need to be illuminated at night?
• And these lights, (located on the turbine hub) will flicker as the blades pass in front of them (5).
      
How far away these turbines will be seen (6)?
• To the East; all the way to Berwick- upon- Tweed, Holy Island and well into the sea beyond, unprecedented for onshore turbines,
• To the South; across the Tweed, well down into Northumberland, as far as Wooler,
• To the West, to Westruther and beyond, 
• To the North, at least to the Lothian Edge,
• Due to their location and size these turbines will dominate the western skyline of Duns.
     
That the battery storage can only supply the grid for a very short period of time (7)?
• There are many additional battery storage proposals for the Eccles area, some already passed by the Council.
      
That this location is unique in that the ground infrastructure, solar panels and battery storage will ALL be visible from the public roads (8)?       

Of the volume of traffic through Westruther (9)?
• 2,000+ HGV vehicles per month for a year. Say 7-day, 8 hour working, that’s an extra HGV every 7 minutes through the village.·      

That there are already £m’s of community funds available locally from existing wind farm developments (10)?
• If approved community funds from this project are many years away, Fred Olsen say operational in 2030 at best (11).      

Of the risks to Health and Safety?
• There is a major gas pipeline running through the middle of the site (12),
• 200m turbines have only just begun to operate onshore, but  research suggests there are risks:  
   to the health of people living some distance away from wind turbines due to infrasound/vibration (13),  
   to animal health from these same issues (14),  
   to component failure because of their very size (15).
• From the fire risk of the batteries. Electric batteries are prone to spontaneous combustion, and such fires leak toxic chemicals into the air/ground and are nearly impossible to put out - they are left to burn themselves out (16), consider this additional pressure on our dedicated volunteer firemen in Duns.·      

Of the risk to birds in flight?
• With blades of 75m long the tips could be travelling at 200 miles per hour (17), with a swept area of  three football pitches(18). With six of these turbines in such close proximity there will undoubtedly be many bird deaths.
      
That many successful applications, once completed, are followed by requests to extend their footprint?
• Crystal Rig developed by Fred Olsen was first operational in 2003, with 25 turbines and has since been extended four times. By 2025 it will be operating 102 turbines. After 20 years they are now working on repowering the first phase with larger turbines and planning to add acres of solar panels (19).
• This installation is on Duns’ doorstep, how close is too close to Duns?      

That Scotland does not need any more windfarms to meet its target of 20GW by 2030?
• Based on the latest Scottish Government figures the 2030 onshore wind generation target is well on track without any new onshore windfarms (20).
• In 2023 windfarm operators across the UK were paid more than £300m not to generate, as the power was not required by the grid (i.e. constraint payments) (21).  £275m (90%) of this was paid to Scottish wind farms (22). In total wind farms have now been paid £1.6bn not to generate electricity. Fallago Rig has received more than £60 million (23) and Crystal Rig £26 million of this total (24),
• It will be decades before the grid infrastructure is in place for Scotland to export this (increasing) excess of power when the wind blows (25).
• Scotland has no strategy to supply the country’s needs when the wind doesn’t blow;, battery storage lasts a few hours at most and can never fill this gap (26).

That’s 11 reasons to consider whether you think Lees Hill (i.e. Hardens Hill) is an appropriate location for such a development.  
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References below to the submission on the ECU website refer to documents on the  Scottish Government - Energy Consents Unit - Application Details
1)         Solar panel area stated in submission as 69.83ha, this equates to 172.5 acres. The Scottish FA recommends a pitch size of 100m x 60m = 6000 sq m = 1.48 acres hence the solar panel area is more than 100 football pitches 

2)         
The Scottish First Minister officially opened the country’s largest turbines to date in November 2022 at Kype Muir near Strathaven. They are 200m, the same as Lees Hill.
a) https://www.scottishconstructionnow.com/articles/first-minister-nicola-sturgeon-launches-uks-tallest-wind-turbine

3)         See para 3.6.1 of the Non Technical Summary on the ECU website

4)         Black Hill Wind Farm (energymap.co.uk)

5)         See video link of wind farm lighting
a)          https://scotlandagainstspin.org/2021/04/aviation-safeguarding-lights-on-turbines-video/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR0_90GoGKjUSW-haASbtuJpuqodfXivp7z7CCoJSGvkSwN3srzY6-NrTCI_aem_AXxCw2sQ2peDdf_4CYGrwjVjMcwRBxXSpLokd89pHpJMJUFMrGFcQqcgA2gvIjfgi8ad2-urDZhstX4ssDUoC5-w

6)         
See ZTV in the submission volume 3(b) figure 6.1 on the ECU website documents

7)         See report from The Global Warming Policy Foundation and Daily Telegraph article
a)         https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2019/07/GridStorageWeb.pdf
b)         Mission Impossible: Why Batteries Can’t Solve Wind & Solar’s Reliability Problem – STOP THESE THINGS
c)         https://scotlandagainstspin.org/2023/09/what-are-bess-dr-rachel-connor-sas-group-expert/                

8)         See submission volume 3(c) figure 6.12 on the ECU website  ‘viewpoint 01’
9)         See chapter 12 of submission, table 12.12 on the ECU websitea) Note that if the Duns Hill wind farm proposal is approved and proceeds at the same time the traffic level would double. Also sown in the same table

10)   Crystal Rig Wind Farm has delivered more than £2.6m in community benefit funds to groups in East Lothian and the Scottish Borders. Crystal Rig IV will see over £8m distributed locally throughout the lifetime of the project. https://crystalrigwindfarm.com/community-benefit/and
a)         Fallago Rig invest £240,000 invested in the community each year, The benefits to our communities - EDF Renewables (edf-re.uk)
b)         Black Hill wind farm has an annual budget of £35,000 Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund | Grant aid for community projects in Berwickshire, Scottish Borders (blackhillcommunityfund.co.uk)

11)    See statement in submission re the grid connection not being until ‘around 2030’ Non Technical Summary 3.5.1 on the ECU website 

12)    The major pipeline though the site is shown on figure 3.1 of Volume 3a - Site Constraints, on the ECU website– a particularly concerning diagram, could they have picked a more difficult site
a)         Note also the considerable telecoms links across the site from the tower on Hardens Hill

13)   
Human Health - See following articles:
a)         » Wind Turbine Syndrome
b)         The science of wind turbine syndrome | Wind Energy News (wind-watch.org)
c)         Wind Turbines and Health: The Studies - WIND CONCERNS
d)         Landmark wind turbine noise ruling from High Court referred to attorney general | Wind Energy News (wind-watch.org)
e)         Home Wreckers: Finnish Study Finds Wind Turbine Infrasound Unsafe For Residents Living Within 15 Km – STOP THESE THINGS

14)   Animal Health – see following articles:
a)         WIND TURBINES CAUSE CHRONIC STRESS IN BADGERS (MELES MELES) IN GREAT BRITAIN | Journal of Wildlife Diseases (allenpress.com)
b)         The Effect of Varying Distances from the Wind Turbine on Meat Quality of Growing-Finishing Pigs (sciendo.com)
c)         Infrasound from wind turbines could be ‘a huge threat to the entire biodiversity’: doctor | Wind Energy News (wind-watch.org)

15)   Component failure
a)         New Olympic Sport: Wind Turbine Blade Sets Giant Javelin Throw Record – STOP THESE THINGS
b)         https://principia-scientific.com/hazardous-particles-from-wind-turbine-rotor-blades/?fbclid=IwAR3wkawKZYvQJ-qMTbPxGtmHMwxEOZ0XBlo4Lxp8OBQH3SoedjHtFk4v8X0c)         Wind Farm Fires Far More Common Than Reported, Study Finds - IEEE Spectrum

16)    Green energy godsends or 'bombs waiting to go off'? Giant lithium-ion batteries draw fire-risk scrutiny | Recharge (rechargenews.com)

17)   What's stopping even bigger Wind Turbines? Blade speed and flexing? More likely manufacturing and installation capacity - Energy Post

18)   The area of a circle with a radius of 75m is πr2 which is 17,671 m2  ,which is 4.4 acres – which is almost 3 times the Scottish FA’s recommended size.

19)   Crystal Rig IV and solar and repowering all shown at  
a)         Crystal Rig Wind Farm
b)         Wind farm developers plan more turbines even before construction on controversial site begins (pressandjournal.co.uk)

20)   The Scottish Government have an onshore target of 20GW and as at last year 8.7GW was installed and working and 11.3GW was in the pipeline. i.e. exactly meeting the requirement (in 2023)

21)   BM Constraint Payments (ref.org.uk)

22)   https://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/news/uk-news/scottish-wind-farms-shared-275m-32144608

23)   BM Constraint Payments (ref.org.uk)

24)   BM Constraint Payments (ref.org.uk)

25)   https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/grid-pinch-point-on-scottish-border-to-push-up-energy-bills-b5785nch0
a)         How is the UK's grid hindering the move to renewable energy? (ndtgroup.co.uk)

26)   Torness nuclear power station is planned to close in 2028 and with the Scottish Governments views on oil, gas and coal fired power stations there is currently no plan to provide the base load of electricity required when the wind doesn’t blow.
a)         https://www.wind-watch.org/faq-electricity.php