10.12.2012 - Grossly inaccurate 'Scottish' Daily Mail article!We received an email from a Jim McBeth of the 'Scottish' Daily Mail (Registered Office: Associated Newspapers Limited, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry St, Kensington, London, W8 5TT. Registered No 84121 England) wanting to do a 'piece' on Ascog Farm the other day.
Reeni Kennedy-Boyle from Towards Zero Carbon Bute (TZCB) also took a call from Mr McBeth and supplied a detailed statement regarding some of TZCB's plans for community benefit programmes if our planning application for three wind turbines at Ascog Farm is passed.
Later on a photographer was spotted snooping around the farm looking for some choice pictures. Hope he didn't step in anything!!
As well as mentioning some unreal and fantastically large numbers, incorrectly assuming a £15 million revenue (which would in fact equate to over £3 million to the community if the percentages had been calculated correctly and the revenue figure was correct in the first place) the piece printed on 10 December 2012 was laughably inaccurate. There's a copy of it below:
The piece misses the point - made by Reeni and clearly expressed on this site - that the proposal is in line with the Scottish Government's 'aim to reach a target of 500 megawatts of community and locally-owned renewable energy by 2020'. If this aim is to be met turbines (and hydro and other renewables schemes) will have to go somewhere. We are trying to see if any can go on Bute.
We will pay £10,000/mW installed capacity/year OR 20% net profit/year whichever is the greater. Large National or International power companies are usually required to pay £2,000/mW installed capacity/year. As far as we're aware community or charitable payments based on a percentage of net profitability are practically unheard of in the electricity generating industry.
If the wind energy project is consented we also hope to use as many local contractors as possible in the build phase and expect that profits we might eventually make once capital expenditure is paid off will go into other on-farm investments. Ideas include a year round outdoor curling/skating pond and a turbine trail celebrating energy production through the ages - Ascog has had hydro and coal, it might get wind, and nuclear is just over the water at Hunterston! If any of these ideas come off we would of course use as much local labour as possible and would hope to create local jobs in the process.
The 'Daily Mail Turbine Trail' has a nice ring to it if the paper would like to sponsor educational or touristic activities promoting the use of renewable technologies!