Donald Trump declared war this month on Scotland’s plans to construct 11 offshore wind turbines near his $1.2 billion golf resort off the Scottish coast.
In an open letter to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, he claimed dramatically that the wind plan would “single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than any event in Scottish history!’
Now, he’s putting his money where his mouth is by reportedly ponying up to £10 million (roughing $15.8 million) for a “fighting fund” for British groups opposing the windfarm.
Trump Organization VP George Sorial was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying that hundreds of groups are looking to participate in the “fighting fund”, which will be used not only to block the windfarm proposed off the Aberdeenshire coast, but also wind developments across the country.
Trump claims that the proposed wind turbines–which may be as tall as a 64-story building–will not only spoil the view from his posh new resort, but would also be “environmentally irresponsible” for Scotland. Another wind development he is vocally opposing is a proposed 150-turbine wind farm off the coast of Loch Ness. Trump says that a region as iconic to Scotland as Loch Ness should not be tainted with an unsightly wind development.
Locals opposed the construction of the Trump International Golf Links, the resort at the center of the controversy located near Aberdeen, several years ago on the basis that the development would destroy sand dunes and consequently effect many different types of wading birds and other wildlife. Given the recent hubbub surrounding the wind turbines, these residents are accusing Trump of blatant hypocrisy for claiming that he has anything other than his financial investments in Scotland at heart.
Director of policy the RenewableUK, Gordon Edge, told the Sunday Times over the weekend that he thinks Trump’s intervention is unwarranted. ”It’s astonishing that an American multi-billionaire feels he’s entitled to circumvent the democratically decided policy of the Scottish and UK governments by supporting a shrill anti-wind minority, just because he might have to see a few wind turbines from his golf course.”
Renewable advocates in the UK want the country to become a world leader in wind power generation; Britain currently has 3,000 onshore and several hundred offshore wind turbines. In order to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals, an additional 6,000 to 10,000 turbines are needed onshore and up to 25,000 offshore, according to expert estimations.