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Wind Turbine Spotting?

Wind Turbine Spotting?


Postby Fife Flyer » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:12 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Steele's Knowe

Date walked: 23/04/2015

Time taken: 1.5 hours

Distance: 8.3 km

Ascent: 285m

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This was a planned outing for two reasons, firstly and probably most importantly I wanted to get out before the weather changes and secondly I need to keep up my fitness level before my trip next month to Skye :wink:
My original plan was to head a bit further west and climb Dumyat, but I opted for a nearer Marilyn, which had been holding my curiosity since my first experience of walking through wind farms in the Moorfoot Hills in the Borders.
I wanted to see for myself just how bad, or good the walk near the beautiful Glen Devon up to the summit of Steele's Knowe.
I know this topic is a bit thorny and a political hot potato, but we can't just dismiss the problem and pretend everything is alright. I am still to be convinced that wind turbines are a credible long term solution to the country's energy problem. I know most folk who read this walk report will be against the constant and seemingly endless erection of more turbines.
One thought that occurred to me whilst walking this morning, is turbine spotting a hobby? Lets face it you can get an "I spy" book for just about everything :lol: Maybe I could set up a website to start the ball rolling :roll:

Onto the walk itself, as you have probably already guessed there isn't much to report, I reached the summit in 50 minutes, which is only a few minutes longer than it took me drive to the start :lol: I also only took 39 photo's, the majority were scenic shots on the summit and I think you can probably guess what featured in the rest :lol:

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Parking area, about 1 mile from Glendevon village

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A gaggle of signs at the start of the walk, just love the speed limit one :lol: :lol:

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Local residents

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The start of the large wide track that gradually climbs

The walk is probably one of the easiest you could undertake, if you were pushed for time and love cycling uphill on tracks you could complete this walk in under an hour, by freewheeling down - not exceeding 19mph naturally :lol:
Once you reach the last turbine in the NW you then have to leave the track and walk over grass for all of 400m, so you don't even need boots :lol:
The track initially is wider than most "A" class roads, especially the single track roads up north :( I would estimate that there must be 5 to 6km of track all over the hillside. How much would the initial outlay be to prepare the land, before the turbines are built and purchased and another question what is the estimated life span of a turbine?

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The track up the hillside with plenty of mesh to protect the track

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A few of the 'new' residents

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A neighbourly wind farm

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The trig on the summit, thought I would include my poles as this may be last outing for them, as new ones are expected soon 8)

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The beautiful Glen Devon

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Another neighbour, slightly further away

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The view to the north with some 'proper' hills in the distance

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Zoomed photo

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The van in the photo, shows how huge the turbines are

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Anyone know what this lump of concrete is for? There are a few of the dotted round near the summit and they look like they have been there much longer than the turbines.

That concludes the report, I apologise in advance if you are a wind farm fan. The above views are purely my thoughts on the topic :wink: Next stop for me is Tyndrum on Saturday, not sure if I will be venturing up a hill depends on the weather and time available :wink:
Last edited by Fife Flyer on Thu Jan 11, 2024 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wind Turbine Spotting?

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:35 pm

I bet you won't be rushing back to Steeles Knowe :lol: :lol: I won't be back that's for sure, depressing!
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Re: Wind Turbine Spotting?

Postby PeteR » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:44 pm

I think that last photo Martin is where any dissenters to the unstoppable march of the wind turbine gets chained for airing their subversive views...........seems you were lucky to get away this time :lol:

But I think they may know where you live (or the general vicinity at least :lol: ), so you may not be safe yet........... :lol:
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Re: Wind Turbine Spotting?

Postby Robertgee » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:28 pm

I was up there today, beautiful sunny day, but quite cold. I think the concrete blocks in Martin's last photo, are the anchor points for the supporting guy ropes on those tall anemometer masts that go up in the early stages of wind farm planning. You'd think they have the decency to remove them once the work was finished, to restore the natural beauty of the area. :(
Then again, they've ruined the hill with the turbines, so why bother :( :crazy:
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Re: Wind Turbine Spotting?

Postby iangpark » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:57 pm

Thought I'd put my two cents in as I was at the Culter Fells last week, which is full of 'em and it is quite rare to come across someone in support (to an extent) of them here!

I've noticed most people who cannot stand wind turbines tend to ignore the figures and instead use rhetoric so I'll add some figures to make it clearer. Electricity consumption in the UK usually sits around the 35GW mark at this time of year. Solely Scotland's 'energy' use is only 10% of the UK total. Onshore and offshore wind at any given time provide a capacity of 7,797MW. Only 59.3% efficiency is theoretically achievable and most turbines function between 15-50% functional capacity, or 1,199-3,898MW. This would mean that wind power at any given time is providing 3.9GW - just over 10% of total electricity demand at absolutely ideal conditions. Of course, Scotland has by far the most wind power potential in the UK with much less consumption, and most of it goes (2/3rds) back to itself, meaning wind ends up powering a huge proportion of Scotland's electricity demand (106% for a day in 2016).

Scotland is miles ahead of the game EU-wise and should be, as we have arguably the best wind resources in Europe. As such, our targets are extremely high and we are aiming for complete eradication of all non-renewable energy sources by 2050. At the near exponential rate of wind turbine capacity improvement (which normally involves just making them bigger) and installation, there's no doubt we'll reach this target. The good thing about this is that we will eventually not need as many turbines as before (Beatrice offshore, to be finalised in 2019, could power the whole Highland council area on only 89 turbines). Offshore is generally more efficient and is much preferred than onshore in my eyes.

On the notion of aesthetics, I have always found it quite odd that some complain about how they look when we ourselves inhabit towns and cities; connected my endless miles of layered, solidified oil, of unbelievable ugliness in comparison. I can understand that anywhere outside these areas is considered 'countryside' and any building on it is thought to be out of place, however rural places, often by definition, are better suited to wind power. This is why they are only situated on bleak moorland with very little species diversity (which humans caused). Furthermore, it is extremely easy for a wind farm EIA application to be denied, and the public have an large say in its denial.

I can very much understand people's concern about wind farms (in particular the notion of not ever deconstructing them once their purpose has been filled or renewable demand has finally been exceeded), but they are at the end of the day, essential in ensuring GHG emissions do not rise to environmentally dangerous levels, and the hills we love to climb continue to be inhabited by a wider variety of flora and fauna. It is an international effort that requires national participation.

Great report Martin!
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Re: Wind Turbine Spotting?

Postby Jaywizz » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:11 pm

One of my least-enjoyed local walks - I was there on a bright sunny day and the large moving shadows thrown across the track in front of me made me feel quite nauseous. No desire to go back there .................
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