Trump vows to fight offshore turbines near golf resort

, Bloomberg


Donald Trump will fight any approval of an offshore wind farm overlooking his Scottish golf resort in the courts for years, according to George Sorial, the executive in charge of the New York billionaire's project.

Trump is deferring plans to build a five-star hotel, 500 homes and 950 rental apartments at the $1.17 billion resort until a decision on the proposal to build 11 offshore wind turbines in Aberdeen Bay, Sorial said Tuesday in an interview.

"It will be many years before we have exhausted the appeals process, which we will certainly do," Sorial said. "We are confident they will never be built."

Trump has been at loggerheads for more than a year with Alex Salmond over the Scottish First Minister's flagship policy of making the nation the hub of European wind power by generating all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Trump, who two days ago submitted plans to build a second golf course on his 1,400 acre Menie estate, says the policy will hurt Scottish tourism.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, a venture between Vattenfall AB, Technip SA and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, applied in 2011 to install wind turbines 1.5 miles out to sea. They would be 651 feet high to the tip of the blades. Marine Scotland hasn't decided whether to give the go-ahead for the $358 million development.

"We will be able to prevent construction," Sorial said. Trump is willing to appeal the wind farm to courts in London should he fail to block it in Scotland, he said. "We are very optimistic we can defeat them."

Democratically Elected

Salmond, whose electoral district includes Trump's estate, has said he and Trump are destined to disagree on the matter and energy policy should be set by democratically elected officials.

Trump told Scottish lawmakers last year he had had assurances from Salmond, and his predecessor Jack McConnell, that the wind-farm plan wouldn't proceed because of objections from the U.K. Ministry of Defence.

Trump has outlined his opposition in letters to Salmond and news organizations over the past year. In one, he described Salmond as "Mad Alex" who would turn Scotland into a third-world economy by building "monstrous" turbines and ruining tourism.

Trump identified his site at Balmedie, north of Aberdeen, as a potential $1.2 billion golf resort in 2005 and battled for almost three years to gain consent to build the two courses as well as the 450-bed hotel, homes and apartments.

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