ScottishPower has been granted final planning consent for Europe’s largest on-shore windfarm, the 322MW Whitelee project south of Glasgow. It will provide enough energy to power 200,000 homes, roughly equivalent to the city’s demand.
The £300 million, 140 turbine project approved yesterday by the Scottish Executive, will cover 55km2 of open moor land and commercial forestry.
ScottishPower’s Chief Executive, Philip Bowman, said: ‘This project is of national importance as we have always maintained that large windfarms, in appropriate locations, are vital to meeting the UK’s ambitious renewable energy targets.’
ScottishPower is already the largest generator of wind power in the UK and, including Whitelee, has now had four projects totalling over 400MW approved for construction over the last six months.
The final approval follows support from the three local authorities: East Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire and East Ayrshire, and a positive response from local communities after extensive consultation.
Construction at the site will start this summer, with the first turbines arriving in late 2007 and the first units becoming operational in 2008. The whole windfarm is expected to be completed by the summer of 2009.