Scotland business

Ministers approve two wind farm projects in Scotland

Clyde wind farm
Image caption The approval will allow SSE to add 54 turbines to its existing Clyde wind farm in South Lanarkshire

Scottish ministers have approved two wind farm projects that together could power more than 100,000 homes.

One is a 54-turbine extension to energy firm SSE's existing Clyde wind farm in South Lanarkshire.

The other project is a new 23-turbine farm in South Ayrshire, proposed by ScottishPower Renewables.

The Scottish government said the two projects would deliver community benefits of more than £28m over 25 years.

The extension to the Clyde wind farm, which is located to the east of Abington, will generate up to an additional 171MW, enough to power more than 76,000 homes.

This will bring the total generating capacity of the wind farm to 512MW.

Ministers said the extension would produce carbon savings estimated at 189,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. It would also contribute about £20m in community benefits over its 25-year operating period, in addition to the £33m estimated for the existing wind farm.

New wind farm

An application to build the Dersalloch wind farm, in South Ayrshire, has also been approved.

It will have a maximum generating capacity of 69MW, enough to power the equivalent of about 32,500 homes.

The Scottish government said the wind farm would create about 120 temporary jobs during construction and deliver a community benefits package worth more than £8.5m over 25 years.

ScottishPower Renewables UK Managing Director Simon Christian said: "Dersalloch has always had the potential to be a significant renewable energy project.

"We have overcome a number of obstacles, negotiating on a wide range of technical and environmental issues, and we look forward now to starting construction at Dersalloch later this year."

'Considerable benefits'

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: "These two wind farms will create jobs both in their construction, and during their lifetime.

"Once they are up and running, the wind farms will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and will be able to produce enough electricity to power thousands of homes."

He added: "The community packages that have been offered by both these developers will bring considerable benefits to the local communities."

RSPB Scotland welcomed the approval of the schemes.

Head of planning and development Aedan Smith said: "There are a number of challenges to resolve on these sites to ensure that they can be built and operated without harming wildlife.

"However, with careful planning, and a significant commitment and effort from the developers toward habitat management, it will be possible for these sites to generate much needed renewable energy and result in some benefit for wildlife."

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