Wind farm gets extension permission

ScottishPower Renewables has been given permission to develop a second extension at Whitelee Windfarm near Glasgow, which will see Europe’s largest onshore wind farm add a further 39 turbines.

Whitelee will have overall capacity of up to 593MW, which is claimed to be enough energy to power more than 330,000 homes.

The initial 140 turbines at Whitelee were completed in May 2009. Planning permission was then granted for the first extension of 36 turbines. The completion of both extensions will see the wind farm hosting 215 turbines across an area of approximately 80km2.

The planning application for the second extension was submitted to the Scottish government on 29 May 2009. Construction on both extensions will be carried out at the same time, starting in 2010, with completion expected in 2012. It is anticipated that construction will create up to 200 jobs.

Keith Anderson, managing director of ScottishPower Renewables, said: ‘In the week that delegates from across the world are discussing global climate change issues in Copenhagen, it is fitting that Europe’s largest onshore wind farm at Whitelee has been given permission to expand further.

‘In total, the electricity generated at Whitelee will have the equivalent of displacing between 570,000 and 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 a year.’

The second extension is located to the south west of the current Whitelee site, located to the north of the Irvine Valley and north east of Kilmarnock. All of the turbines are located within the boundary of East Ayrshire council.