Lochgelly is set to get it’s own wind farm, which is set to be completed within 12 months and will compromise of 9 nine turbines, with the capacity to generate 27 megawatts which is the equivilent power to supply roughly 15,000 households on a yearly basis.

For those that are against the wind farm, it is too late to make your views known, as the planning was approved in March 2009.

The wind farm will be situated on the ground for at least 25 years, and during this time, a large swathe of land will be closed from public access, due to health and safety reasons. The map below details the intended site plan which will prevent people from being able to walk around the loch.

Little Raith Wind Farm - Site Plan

The wind farm is a project between West Coast Energy and Kennedy Power and they are promising to invest £2000 per megawatt created for a local community fund, to be split between Auchtertool, Lochgelly, Lumphinnans, and Cowdenbeath.

A trust will be made up from people from the 4 areas to discuss how this money should be divided between the communities, and for what purpose it is to be used for. We shall supply more details when we find out who the group is compromised of and any official contact details.

Effects on local wildlife

So far no attempt has been made to measure the impact this wind farm will have on the bat population at Loch Gelly, however conditions have been set on the wind farm to monitor the impact on the bird population, which includes a regular visitation from a bird surveyor Part of the remit includes:

  • Visit A: Arrive mid-morning, make a count of the number of geese and other birds feeding at the site looking for goose and other bird carcasses.
  • Visit B: Arrive mid-afternoon, make a count of the number of geese and other birds feeding at the site looking for goose and other bird carcasses.

So, we are told that wind farms will help protect our environment, but it is carefully omitted from press reports that the wind farm will damage the local bird life population, and local bat population (which will not be monitored).

Bats are at risk as scientists have discovered that the rotating blades produce a change in air pressure which can cause internal injuries to bats. This was first discovered by Canadian scientists investigating a wind farm in south-western Alberta, that had a high number of bat carcasses.

“An atmospheric pressure drop at wind turbine blades is an undetectable – and potentially unforseeable – hazard for bats, thus partially explaining the large number of bat fatalities at these specific structures,” Erin Baerwald, University of Calgary, Research Team Leader.

The research discovered that 90% of the bat carcasses had suffered internal injuries which was believed to be caused by the bats flying into a low pressure zone, which causes their lungs to suddenly expand, bursting capillaries in the surrounding tissue which then becomes flooded with blood.

This does not affect birds which have more rigid and robust lungs.

“Given that bats are far more susceptible to barotrauma than birds, and that bat fatalities at wind turbines far outnumber bird fatalities at most sites, wildlife fatalities at wind turbines are now a bat issue, not a bird issue,” said Ms Baerwald.

Local Issues

Other issues of concern for the locality include the noise pollution that will be generated from the wind farm, this area has been played down, or avoided completely in local press reports.

As for the money that will be generated (if running at full capacity, will amount to £54,000 per year), we will have to see how this will be split between the 4 communities, and for what purpose this money will be used.

Only time will tell, if this money will be of value locally, and worth living with the impact that the wind farm will ultimately have on the Lochgelly and Lumphinnans community.

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7 Comments

  1. Maria Reid

    February 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    It is such a shame that the bird life has been ignored. The Loch has become an important little nature reserve. There are bats, which I had thought were a protected species, there are various species of ducks, the geese now use the Loch as a ‘stop-over’, and of course, there are the swans. My concern also is for the crows as there is a large rookery in the Black Woods, that has been there for decades. Where are they to go? More and more trees are being cut down, and where there is ‘green land’, the council and the profit-making companies claim it and ignore that we also need to retain these areas without building on them, they need to be kept for our nature reserves, for our children to have access to nature and green open spaces. It has been proved that some of these so-called ‘green’ wind-farms are nothing more than a money-making exercise for private companies, and the benefit to the planet, the people, and to nature are negligible. They still need electricity to generate them, they tear up last areas of land…think of the concrete structure that has to be built under the surface to hold the wind-generators in place, etc. It is not for me to try to explain all the drawbacks here, there are plenty of excellant sites that expose the farce that some of these constructions have been. I don’t believe that this windfarm is the answer to our problems, there are other ways to tackle our constant need for energy rather than destroy our local Loch, kill the birds, and take away yet another part of our land, and turn it over to a profit-making industry. I tried to object at the time, but the people in power just fob-off the locals as per usual. It is a crying shame what they are doing to our land.

    Reply

  2. Tom

    March 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I’m not against windfarms, but why do they have to be built in areas where they will destroy the wildlife. Why can’t they be built where there is already an infra-system such as along motorways and duel-carriageways, and maybe even industrial estates. There is already a road system in place and these areas are off-limits anyway for most wildlife. Why do we have to continue to destroy our wooded areas. People still like to walk in these areas, take their children there, etc.

    Reply

    • jaz

      March 2, 2011 at 11:10 pm

      I agree, I see windfarms as okay but they should be better located. I used to go down to that area all the time when I was younger, and nowadays I take my daughter as I think it is good for her to get out in the countryside every so often and see the different wildlife.

      Reply

  3. John

    May 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Crows are horrible. You are an idiot.

    Reply

    • Lochgelly

      May 6, 2011 at 10:24 am

      You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but 7 words hardly make an argument to support your viewpoint, therefore, I think most people will ignore your contribution as an attempt at trolling.

      Thanks for your comment though 😉

      Reply

  4. Annoyed

    June 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Why it is every time we get opportunities to better Lochgelly and the surrounding area, people complain – the fact is most people in Lochgelly don’t visit the Loch which may I add has blue green algae so animals and children should not go there as is it dangerous as well as their being no close facilities or car park near it. And if you look at the proposed site the area most people are talking about is not affected. Lochgelly needs all the help it can get so we should stop complaining and start agreeing.
    Principles are Principles if they get in the way of
    progress get rid of them. Maria seems to be a typical Lochgelly socialist of which there are many, if things don’t run for profit there is no incentive to do anything, private companies benefit because they get money, Lochgelly gets money for hosting the site. Its a nice romantic notion that things don’t need to run for profit but in reality very few things would exist if that was the case.

    Reply

    • James

      June 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      I am sorry to disagree, but I am a regular visitor to the Loch, and I go around the entire Loch and I haven’t spotted any blue green algae, in fact all I have seen is a thriving wildlife and a growth in the amount of birds that live and feed on the Loch, in fact if you look at the galleries on this site you will see some of the bird life at the Loch, to imply the Loch is dangerous to animals, the thriving bird life (Swans, Ducks, Geese) would disagree with you.

      To say the Loch is dangerous, is just spreading FUD.

      Secondly, the money is not going to be spent in Lochgelly, a comittee has been set-up made of members from Lochgelly, Lumphinnans, and Cowdenbeath, who will decide how the money is spent, and if recent trends in local developments for Lochgelly vs Cowdenbeath indicate, then the majority of the money will end up in Cowdenbeath.

      Lastly, just because there is no car parking facilities near the place doesn’t mean no-one goes there, believe or not people still walk to the Loch, and I have seen on this site and the facebook page, many people from outside the area, ask if the Loch can be used for fishing, watersports, etc. As for the area that is getting developed, as a regular visitor to the area, I see groups of youths using ther area, dog walkers, etc. all going across to the Black Woods which would be inaccessible.

      Lochgelly needs all the help it can get so we should stop complaining and start agreeing.

      I agree with the first part of your statement, but the 2nd part I certainly do not. Are you implying that people who disagree with you are wrong, and you are correct, so everyone should agree with you? The good thing about a democracy is that people are free to disagree, and hopefully people can discuss all their disagreements and work towards an amicable solution that keeps everyone happy.

      Reply

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