So back in 2003, an offshore wind farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland was initially proposed by the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group. In 2006, Trump bought a big chunk of coastal land, formerly part of the Menie estate, near the village of Balmedie, Aberdeenshire. And he proceeded to immediately attack the planned wind farm, sobbing “I want to see the ocean, I do not want to see windmills.”
And so off it went… Trump went into attack mode, while the energy folks proceeded to build a wind farm.
- In 2006 Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Scotland expressed concern about the effect the wind farm and Donald Trump’s golf course would have on the wildlife on the Aberdeenshire coast. They wanted some studies.
- Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond helped Trump and The Trump Organization get past local objections and red tape, establishing his golf resort project.
- In 2011, Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Ltd applied to build and operate the Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm with 11 turbines, 3.5 km from the resort. The wind farm would be visible from Trump’s resort and several other golf courses, some of which already have other nearby wind farms.
- In September 2011 the Trump Organization filed an objection to this application.
- Donald Trump also wrote to Salmond objecting to the turbines, calling them “environmentally irresponsible”. In a follow-up letter in the same month, he went on to describe the wind turbines as “ugly”, and that he was “fighting for the benefit of Scotland.”
- In January 2012, Trump halted work developing the golf resort pending a decision on the wind farm by Scottish ministers.
- In March 2012, Trump sent another letter to Salmond warning the first minister that he would become “known for centuries” as “the man who destroyed Scotland”. Because of course he did.
- Appearing before the Scottish Parliament’s economy, energy and tourism committee in April 2012, he claimed that he had been “lured” into building the golf resort upon assurances by the former and current first ministers, Jack McConnell and Alex Salmond, that the wind farm would not be built. McConnell and Salmond denied the claims.
- Trump stated that his golf course was due to open in July, but his plans for a hotel and hundreds of homes on the site had been put on hold.
- In September 2012, complaints were upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority about ads commissioned by The Trump Organization which gave “a misleading impression of the possible consequences of the Scottish government’s plans to use wind turbines.”
- In October 2012, Trump attacked RSPB Scotland for dropping opposition to the wind farm claiming that “their name should be changed to RSKB – Royal Society for the Killing of Birds.”
- Later that month, his lawyers called for a public inquiry into the wind farm.
- In December 2012, an advertisement sanctioned by The Trump Organization appeared in print which claimed that “tourism will suffer and the beauty of your country is in jeopardy”. The advert was later ruled “misleading” by the Advertising Standards Authority.
- When planning consent was granted by the Scottish government in March 2013, Trump vowed to “spend whatever monies are necessary to see to it that these huge and unsightly industrial wind turbines are never constructed.”
- In May 2013, Trump launched a legal challenge against the Scottish government’s decision to grant planning permission for the wind farm.
- The hearing began at the Court of Session in November 2013, but was rejected in February 2014.
- An appeal against the decision was heard at the Court of Session in January 2015, but Trump lost the appeal in June 2015.
- After the decision Trump said he would appeal before both the Supreme Court of the UK and the European Courts. Trump was unanimously found to be the loser of the case by the UK Supreme Court in December 2015.
- Finally, The Trump Organization agreed to pay $290,000 to the Scottish government, to cover the court costs for his losing case.
And so that’s why Donald J. Trump hates windmills. Er, umm, wind turbines.