GSK's wind turbine plan blows, Scots suggest

Montrose residents and local officials say GSK's proposed wind turbines would be eyesores in the picturesque town.--Courtesy of Alan Morrison and Wikipedia

GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) effort to go green at one of its Scottish plants by using wind turbines is facing some ill winds.

In the coastal town of Montrose, townspeople want to put the kibosh on GSK's plans to install two wind turbines, and local officials appear to share the sentiments.

When word got out last year that GSK sought to erect two, 426-feet-high wind turbines at the plant, the local community and Scottish historic trusts reacted by filing more than 360 objections and circulating a 254-signature petition, according to the Montrose Review. Their reasons are mostly aesthetic: Two large, unsightly turbines would be eyesores among nearby landmarks and townscape. Recognizing those issues, development officials in Angus--where Montrose is located--recommend that Angus councilors reject GSK's application to install the turbines because of potential noise issues and "significant adverse landscape and visual impacts."

A GSK spokesman tells the Review that it is disappointed in the opposition but will just wait to see how the councilors vote. 

The £8 million ($12.6 million) project in Montrose is one of many GSK efforts to become energy-efficient as part of its plan for the plant to be carbon-neutral by 2014. Not only does Montrose play a part in GSK's goal to cut its entire carbon footprint by 2050, the plant is part of a more than £500 million ($790 million) investment to bring 1,000 jobs to GSK's U.K. plants.

GSK isn't the only Big Pharma in the green movement. In the last four years, Pfizer ($PFE) has cut its greenhouse gas emissions 20%, achieving $85 million in annualized savings.

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