Gigawatt milestone for Scottish Power wind farms

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAs gas bills are set to rise by as much as 19% and electricity bills by 10%, could renewable energy reduce costs in the future?

Two new wind farms in South Ayrshire, which are operated by Scottish Power, have entered production.

The move has increased the company's total capacity from wind power to one gigawatt, making it the first in the UK to reach this milestone.

Scottish Power Renewables has now expanded its operation to 24 wind farms.

According to the company's figures, it has the potential to power 600,000 homes from wind.

The new wind farms near Barrhill were officially opened by First Minister Alex Salmond and Ignacio Galan, the chairman of Scottish Power's parent company, Iberdrola.

Low carbon economy

The larger of the two, at Arecleoch, has 60 turbines. Neighbouring Mark Hill has 24 turbines.

The sites operated in Scotland by Scottish Power Renewables include Whitelee near Glasgow, the largest onshore wind farm in Europe.

Speaking at the opening of the new wind farms, Mr Salmond said: "The opening of the Arecleoch and Mark Hill wind farms here in South Ayrshire is a significant milestone for Scottish Power Renewables.

"It also underlines both the rapid progress Scotland has made in clean energy generation and our industry's leading role in the wider development of a genuinely low carbon economy across Europe."

Ignacio Galan, the chairman of Iberdrola, said: "For Scottish Power Renewables, today is an especially satisfying day.

"This clearly shows our commitment to clean energy and sustainable development in Scotland."

The Scottish government has set as a target that the equivalent of 100% of the country's electricity should come from renewable sources by 2020.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites