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Golfers tee-up a wind turbine to power clubhouse

Most golfers know all too well the difficulties of battling against the elements.

But one Edinburgh golf course is looking to harness them to its advantage by installing a wind turbine to help power its clubhouse.

Swanston Golf Course, which sits in the shadow of the Pentland Hills, is currently looking into erecting a 60ft turbine, which would generate 11kw of electricity.

The plans are at an early stage, but it is not the first time the club's owners have put their green credentials to the fore.

The course already has a geothermal pump which provides central heating for its clubhouse by using the earth under the building as a source of heat.

Colin McLung, a director of the course, said members were used to winds like something out of the Wizard of Oz.

He said: "My family have farmed on this land for over 80 years and we've seen winds which turn wooden horse shelters into matchsticks.

"We'd like to make use of as much natural energy as we can and this fits into that. But we don't want to see the Pentland Hills covered in wind turbines."

The club's plans have already won the backing of Green politician Robin Harper and have received a cautious welcome from the local community council.

Norman Tinlin, secretary of Fairmilehead Community Council, said: "We've got a meeting next week, where we will discuss it, but I would think that the majority would be in favour.

"We want to look at all the options and make sure it's sited in the right place. We would have to see the plans in more detail, but personally, I don't have any objections."

Ambitious national targets aim to see Scotland produce 50 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Swanston Golf Club

Source: Chris Marshall, Evening News, Thursday, 22nd April, 2010