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Biggest wind farm plans sail through

THE drive to make "Scotland the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy" took a huge step forward yesterday, when plans to construct Europe's biggest onshore wind farm were approved by ministers.

The 300m, 140-turbine ScottishPower farm will be built on moorland at Whitelee, south of East Kilbride, Lanarkshire. It will have a maximum output of 322 megawatts of electricity or enough, it is claimed, to power nearly every house in Glasgow.

When completed in 2009, it will be able to satisfy more than 2% of Scotland's electricity needs in a typical year, the Scottish Executive said.

Allan Wilson, deputy enterprise minister, said it was another huge step forward for clean, green renewable energy generation in Scotland.

He added: "Whitelee is the largest single onshore wind farm consented in Europe, and a significant milestone towards achieving our renewable energy and climate change targets."

Philip Bowman, ScottishPower chief executive, said the project was of national importance. "We have always maintained that large wind farms in appropriate locations are vital to meeting the UK's ambitious renewable energy targets."

Pressure groups against wind farms, however, described the project as a monument to the folly of the government's so-called "green" energy policy and posed potential dangers.

Announcing the go-ahead, Mr Wilson, Labour MSP for Cunninghame North, said there were many more projects in the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
The £300m, 140-turbine ScottishPower farm will be built on moorland at Whitelee, south of East Kilbride, Lanarkshire. It will have a maximum output of 322 megawatts of electricity or enough, it is claimed, to power nearly every house in Glasgow.

When completed in 2009, it will be able to satisfy more than 2% of Scotland's electricity needs in a typical year, the Scottish Executive said.

Allan Wilson, deputy enterprise minister, said it was another huge step forward for clean, green renewable energy generation in Scotland.

He added: "Whitelee is the largest single onshore wind farm consented in Europe, and a significant milestone towards achieving our renewable energy and climate change targets."

Philip Bowman, ScottishPower chief executive, said the project was of national importance. "We have always maintained that large wind farms in appropriate locations are vital to meeting the UK's ambitious renewable energy targets."

Pressure groups against wind farms, however, described the project as a monument to the folly of the government's so-called "green" energy policy and posed potential dangers.

Announcing the go-ahead, Mr Wilson, Labour MSP for Cunninghame North, said there were many more projects in the pipeline, "including biomass, wave and hydro power".

He said the farm, centred on the Corse, Drumduff and Myres hills, covered 7.2 miles by 4.3 miles and would save 650,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

The development amounted to 5% of the capacity needed to hit the executive's target of having 40% of Scotland's electricity generated from renewable sources by 2020.

A key element to gaining consent was the combined effort of British Airports Authority, National Air Traffic Services, Civil Aviation Authority and ScottishPower to ensure the project would have no adverse effect on the operation of radar equipment at Glasgow airport. The solution is a new radar tower at Kincardine in Fife, to be completed in 2007.

Plans for recreational facilities, including a visitor centre and cycle and walking routes are being finalised with local authorities.

Maf Smith, chief executive of industry body Scottish Renewables, said the project was a shot in the arm for Scotland's economy and environment, adding: "The central belt is doing its bit in the drive to make Scotland the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy."

But David Bruce, of Views of Scotland, said the 300ft turbines would be an intrusive monument on Glasgow's skyline, while Gillian Bishop, of Watch, a local opposition group, said the farm's approval was disappointing, but no surprise.


Source: http://www.theherald.co.uk/...

APR 28 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2346-biggest-wind-farm-plans-sail-through
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