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140 Wind Turbines For Glasgow’s Skyline 2006-04-28

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Gizmo, Glasgow, Scotland.

The biggest onshore wind farm in Europe is to be built on a vast stretch of moorland near Glasgow and will open by the end of the decade, ‘The Scottish Executive‘ announced yesterday 2006-04-27.

Ministers consented to the 140-turbine farm, to be built on high ground to the south of East Kilbride. The farm will cover a huge area of moorland and forestry, on a site at Whitelee measuring 7.2 miles by 4.3 miles.

It will have a maximum output of 322MW — enough, ‘The Scottish Executive‘ claimed, to power nearly every house in Glasgow — or 280 000 homes.

  • When completed in 2009, it will be able to satisfy more than 2 per cent of Scotland’s yearly electricity needs.

Announcing ‘The Scottish Executive’s‘ consent to the ‘ScottishPower‘ project, The Deputy Enterprise Minister Mr.Allan Wilson, said:

‘This is another huge step forward for clean, green, renewable energy generation in Scotland.

‘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.

‘We are strongly committed to the continued development of a diverse renewable energy portfolio in this country.’

He said the farm would save 650 000 tonnes of a year.

The industry body ‘Scottish Renewables‘ said:

‘The Central Belt is doing its bit in the drive to make Scotland “the Saudi Arabia” of renewable energy.’

However, several area residents complained about the Whitelee site’s high visibility — it can be seen from ten miles away — and ‘Scottish National Heritage‘ raised concerns over a threat by access roads to black grouse and rare liverwort populations.

The plan has also raised concerns over its likely impact on air traffic control radars at Glasgow and Lowther hill, as well as weather radar operated by ‘The Met Office’. But a ‘Greenpeace’ spokesman hailed ‘The Scottish Executive’s‘ move:

‘Edinburgh is setting an example that London would do well to follow,’ he said.

‘[UK Prime Minister] Tony Blair should take a leaf out of [First Minister Jack] Mcconnell’s book by approving more wind farms and ending its fixation with new nuclear power stations.’

The chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland Mr.Duncan Mclaren, said the approval was symbolic, given the current debate about nuclear energy.

The Scottish Executive‘ has opposed new nuclear power stations despite indications from ‘Westminster’ that it supports them as part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The Friends of The Earth CEO said:

Duncan Mclaren
‘This decision makes sure Scotland remains “on track” to meet its targets to generate renewable electricity.

‘The important thing about this proposal is that it is close to areas of population where it will be used.

‘It shows that wind farms can be built closer to urban areas.

‘It underlines how Scotland could easily generate most of its electricity from renewables and thus not have to return to “failed” nuclear power’.

But not everyone is happy. The headquarters for ‘Views of Scotland‘, the anti-wind farm ‘umbrella’ group, is located adjacent to the Whitelee site. A spokesman said:

‘We are extremely disappointed; the development will cause significant environmental damage, ruin Glasgow’s famous southern skyline, but do little to cut carbon emissions’


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