Highlands & Islands

Blimp to be used in Druim Ba wind farm protest

Wind turbines
Image caption Twenty-three turbines have been proposed for the site

A group is planning to fly a blimp near a proposed wind farm to show the scale of the turbines from the ground to the tip of a blade at its highest point.

Twenty-three turbines could be erected in clearings of a forestry plantation near Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire.

Druim Ba Say No Action Group said it has the necessary permission to fly the large air balloon.

Developer Druim Ba Sustainable Energy has said previously that it would take on board opponents' concerns.

The action group said the blimp would fly at 149.5m (490ft).

The planned protest comes days after claims were made in a report that wind farms produced below 10% of capacity for more than a third of the time.

The analysis also suggested output was low during the times of highest demand.

The report, supported by conservation charity the John Muir Trust, concluded turbines "cannot be relied upon" to produce significant levels of power generation.

Carried out by Stuart Young Consulting, the research analysed electricity generated from UK wind farms between November 2008 to December 2010.

However, industry representatives said they had "no confidence" in the data.

Jenny Hogan, director of policy for Scottish Renewables, said no form of electricity worked at 100% capacity, 100% of the time.

She said the John Muir Trust had commissioned an anti-wind farm campaigner to produce a report about UK onshore wind energy output.

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