Plans for the first urban community wind turbine in Scotland have hit a stumbling block after the landowner, Scottish Water changed their stance on the project at the start of this year.
Negotiations stalled after the private sector companies that manage the PFI contract at the treatment works demanded that Scottish Water accept liability for any accidents involving the proposed turbine on the site.
Although the risk of the wind turbine damaging the sewage works is extremely small, Scottish Water are not willing to accept the risk, even though PEDAL and Greener Leith would fund an insurance policy as part of the project. Talks with Scottish Water and the companies that manage the Seafield site through a Private Finance Initiative, began in February 2011. Despite written assurances backing a turbine then, Scottish Water changed their stance in January 2012. Since then community volunteers, have tried to lobby Scottish Government Ministers, who are the sole shareholders of Scottish Water, to find a way forward. The Scotgovt could direct Scottish Water to indemnify the PFI contract holders from any risk or create an indemnity bond to cover community renewable projects on all land subject to PFI – funded by future proceeds from community projects. This needs action now to make sure renewable energy projects are firmly embedded in communities – not just the nightmares of billionaires like Donald Trump. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org