UK - Largest onshore European wind farm approved

Wind farm comprising 140 wind turbines with a maximum output of 322 megawatts

Proposals were given the green light to build the Whitelee wind farm comprising 140 wind turbines with a maximum output of 322 megawatts (MW), said to be the largest single onshore wind farm in Europe. Situated south of Glasgow, Scotland, when the ScottishPower wind farm is complete it will satisfy more than two percent of Scotland's electricity needs in a typical year. "Whitelee is the largest single onshore wind farm to be consented in Europe and is a significant milestone towards achieving our renewable energy and climate change targets," said Allan Wilson, Deputy Enterprise Minister. "We are strongly committed to the continued development of a diverse renewable energy portfolio in this country and there are many more proposed projects in the pipeline, including biomass, wave and hydro power."

In bringing forward our Scotland's Renewables Obligation plans, the Scottish Executive aims to meet a target that 18 percent of electricity generated in Scotland should come from renewable sources by 2010 and 40 percent by 2020. "We are already well on target to surpass the 2010 target and this single development equates to over five percent of the capacity needed to hit our 2020 target," Wilson said. The announcement follows a lengthy consultation process that involved a wide range of stakeholders and members of the public. Following consultation with East Ayrshire Council, East Renfrewshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council and other bodies, conditions were attached to this consent to safeguard local and environmental interests. The proposed development raised a number of issues in respect of its likely impact on the operation of air traffic control radars at Glasgow Airport, the NATS En Route installation at Lowther Hill and the Corse Hill weather radar operated by the MetOffice.

Following negotiations between the parties involved, solutions have been agreed to the satisfaction of the aviation authorities, Glasgow Airport and the MetOffice, which ensure that the wind farm development can proceed. The site, located on elevated ground to the south of East Kilbride, occupies an area of moorland and forestry centered on the Corse, Drumduff and Myres Hills and straddles the broad ridge formed by these hills. The site is extensive, 11.5 km east to west and 7 km from north to south – 55 km2 in total. The project will start to become operational in 2008, and will be completed in 2009
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
wind energy, wind farm, renewable energy, wind power, wind turbine, rotorblade, offshore, onshore

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