Wind farm investment could create 600 jobs in Scotland

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A £1bn investment in wind farm projects across Scotland led by renewable energy developer Burcote Wind could create almost 600 jobs.

The company, headquartered in Dunfermline, has plans to develop 10 wind farms at locations across Scotland — from Aberdeenshire to Dumfries and Galloway — totalling nearly 800MW of installed electricity-generating capacity.

If consented, the projects could produce an annual electricity output of around 2.6 million megawatt hours, which is claimed to be capable of meeting the energy needs of 554,000 homes and displacing more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be produced by fossil-fuel power plants.

According to a statement, the 10 pipeline projects represent a total investment of around £1.08bn including pre-planning costs; capital expenditure on turbines and grid connection upgrades; and ongoing operating costs.

As well as creating around 110 permanent jobs in engineering and maintenance around the wind farms, the schemes would also support approximately 475 construction jobs during their build phases.

Burcote Wind is currently consulting on proposals for four sites — Meikleton (Aberdeenshire), Creggan (Argyll and Bute), Sandy Knowe and Benshinnie (both Dumfries and Galloway) — for which planning applications will be submitted over the coming 18 months. Six other sites are at early stages of environmental and technical appraisal and not yet in the public domain.

Burcote Wind will take each of its sites through the planning process to allow the wind farms to be built. The company will then seek partners to make the capital investment needed to procure, erect and connect the wind turbines.

Graham Brown, chairman of Burcote Wind, said: ‘Scotland is fortunate to have huge energy resources — and wind must be counted among the best of these.

‘With around a quarter of Europe’s wind resource, it would be crazy not to harness that power, especially as fossil fuels become scarcer and ever more expensive.’