Statkraft's first wind farm in Scotland up and running
Athletes from across Scotland ran up a first for the sport at the weekend when they competed in the first and only 10-kilometre course at a Highland wind farm. The race marked the opening of Statkraft's 52.5 MW Baillie Wind Farm.
About 100 runners took part in the Turbine 10 event held over the undulating service tracks around the Baillie Wind Farm, near Thurso in Caithness, Scotland.
The charity event, organised by the wind farm's operator Statkraft and the North Highland Harriers running club, was won by Kevin Cormack from Thurso who finished ahead of Dave Spencer from Acheamie, Caithness, in second place and Alistair McDonald from St Andrews in third. Winner of the women's race was Lorna Stringer.
Over 80 also took part in an accompanying four-kilometre fun run/walk around Baillie's perimeter track which was won by Stuart Kirk, age 13 from Thurso ahead of Gabby MacGregor, 13, from Thurso, in second and her brother Ewan MacGregor, 11, in third.
All race finishers for the 10K and 4K races received a medal, goody bag and T shirt. A large crowd turned out to support the event and take part in various fun activities.
Event proceeds, including the 10k and 4k entry fees, will go to the Moray Firth Radio Cash for Kids' appeal; the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) and the North Highland Cancer Information and Support Centre, based in Thurso.
The Turbine 10 is the latest project in a drive to further develop community benefits deriving from Baillie Wind Farm, which already incorporates a visitors' car park, encourages walking and cycling on its tracks and will provide interpretation and assist access to a nearby bronze age cairns site.
Sergio Castedo, Director of Statkraft UK and Baillie Wind Farm, said: "The Turbine 10 race was a fantastic success and one that makes the most of this spectacular location. It has demonstrated how the local community and visitors can enjoy the wind farm site in a variety of ways."
The idea for the inaugural event was runners could enjoy the spectacular views, whilst experiencing a wind farm at close quarters.
Tom Pottinger, local farmer and director of Baillie Wind Farm, said: "The setting and the fact it is the first event of its kind made the Turbine 10 a unique attraction and one that has been well supported by the athletes and the local community."
Sandy Christie, of the North Highland Harriers, who worked with Statkraft to organise the Turbine 10, added: "We are pleased that so many runners took part in the inaugural race which provides an interesting and very different challenge. It was an extremely enjoyable occasion which was a fantastic addition to the 10k calendar."
Baillie Wind Farm's 21 turbines will produce enough clean energy annually to power some 35,000 UK homes. The project includes the Baillie Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund yielding an expected £100,000 annually for local initiatives, plus a further £25,000 per annum for the new Caithness Business Fund. Both funds will be managed by the Caithness Chamber of Commerce.