South Scotland

West Freugh military range kite power scheme approved

Kite Power Solutions Image copyright Kite Power Solutions

A bid has been approved to carry out research and development into kite power technology on part of a military range in south west Scotland.

Kite Power Solutions is behind the proposal at West Freugh near Stranraer.

The company has said it could eventually employ up to 500 people by 2025, if the project enters the manufacturing stage.

Dumfries and Galloway Council has approved the research and development bid with a string of conditions.

The planning permission only allows for operation from mid-April to mid-September.

It also stipulates the system cannot be brought into use until a bird monitoring plan is put in place and approved by the council in consultation with Scottish Natural Heritage and RSPB Scotland.

'Crucial step'

Kite Power Solutions was founded in 2011 in Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex and has been using a site at Bradwell-on-Sea for research and development.

However, it hopes to move its operation to Dumfries and Galloway - initially bringing about 19 jobs.

Its technology sees two kites tethered to spool drums and as they fly they turn the drums to produce electricity.

The company said research and development success was a "crucial step" in achieving its business aspirations.

It has now received the green light to carry out tests on parts of the West Freugh site which has operated as a military base since the 1930s and is currently run by QinetiQ on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The MoD was consulted on the proposals and had no objections.

More on this story

Related Internet links

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