Our regular readers will know that PEDAL volunteers have been working hard with those at Greener Leith to develop a community owned wind turbine at Seafield Sewage Works. In January this year we hit a stumbling block in negotiations over the Seafield site, in relation to safety and liability issues should there be an accident involving the turbine. In response PEDAL and Greener Leith produced options for consideration by the Scottish Government.
On 28th May, Scottish Energy Minster Fergus Ewing chaired a meeting at Seafield involving all parties, in an attempt to find a way forward. However, representatives of landowners Scottish Water and site operators Veolia Water stated that the site is no longer considered suitable for a wind turbine due to the possible need for land to expand the waste water treatment works in the future.
While this development is frustrating, we are pleased to say that Scottish Water have pledged to help us find another site for a community turbine, or to otherwise help the communities of Portobello and Leith achieve their renewable energy aspirations. Fergus Ewing MSP will chair a follow up meeting with Scottish Water in September to review progress on these possibilities.
This press release below was agreed by all the parties involved in the negotiations and was issued by the Scottish Government last Friday, 8th June.
Community groups, Scottish Government and Scottish Water to work together.
Community groups, Scottish Water and the Scottish Government have agreed to work together to find an alternative site for a wind turbine owned by communities in the East of Edinburgh.
Following a meeting between Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, representatives from PEDAL (Portobello Transition Town), Greener Leith and Scottish Water agreed to find an alternative site for a community-owned wind turbine for the East of Edinburgh.
The two community groups had planned to erect a wind turbine at Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works, with money raised from the turbine benefiting both communities, but the site is no longer considered suitable.
The land in question provides the only potential for vital expansion of the Waste Water Treatment Works serving Edinburgh should this be necessary to meet future customer demands. At the meeting on May 28, also attended by local MSP Kenny MacAskill, all parties agreed to work together to find an alternative site, or another way for Scottish Water to work with the community groups.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland is leading the way across the UK in how we support local and community ownership of renewable energy, and I am determined to ensure communities all over Scotland reap the benefits of renewable energy.
“Although it is disappointing that the site originally identified cannot be used for this community wind turbine, this was a positive and productive meeting.
“The Scottish Government and Scottish Water have agreed to help PEDAL and Greener Leith to find a site for another scheme elsewhere.
“If a suitable site cannot be found, Scottish Water have indicated there are other ways they would be able to work with the Community Group, and the Scottish Government and Community Energy Scotland will explore the possibility of a partnership arrangement with a rural group to help Greener Leith and PEDAL achieve their renewables ambition.
“I have asked to be kept up to date on this issue and will be closely following progress.”