Image credit: Patrick Finnegan, used under Creative Commons license
Wind farms may often face opposition from NIMBY protesters, but it doesn't always have to be that way. Not long ago I reported on how residents near a proposed wind farm were greatly in favor of the project. And now we come across a story of a village in Scotland that stunned wind developers by actually demanding more turbines be built. According to the Guardian, when villagers in Fintry in Scotland heard that a wind farm was going to be built in the hills above their community, they got together to put pressure on the developers. But rather than trying to stop the project, the community instead demanded that the developer build an additional wind turbine and sell it to the village to make some money. The resulting funds have since been ploughed into making the village even more green:
"The Fintry turbine has now been operating for more than a year, and has already earned £140,000 for the villagers, money that has been put aside for energy efficiency schemes. Around half of the 300 households have already had roof and cavity wall insulation fitted, and some residents have seen their heating bills cut by hundreds of pounds a year. When the loan on the £2.5m turbine is paid off, Fintry could be making up to £500,000 a year from the electricity its turbine feeds into the National Grid."
It's a pretty smart move for all concerned—and it could be an interesting way for renewable energy developers to appease local opposition. After all, if communities are being asked to live next to gigantic turbines, it only makes sense for them to derive some income from the scheme. If that money can go to greening homes and cutting bills in the process, then we all benefit too.
More on Wind Turbines, Planning and NIMBYism
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Earth First!'s Maine Wind Protest
Stunning Urban Turbines Circumvent NIMBYs