ScottishPower's giant windfarm approved

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The Independent Online

Europe's biggest onshore windfarm is to be built close to Glasgow after final planning approval was given to the £300m project yesterday.

The giant windfarm, featuring 140 turbines, will cover 35 square miles of moorland and forestry to the south of the city and will generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes.

ScottishPower, the developer of the windfarm, won consent for the project after it agreed to spend £5m relocating a radar tower for Glasgow airport to a new site at Kincardine in Fife. It has also agreed to relocate a Met Office weather radar that could have been affected by the giant turbine blades.

Construction of the 322-megawatt Whitelee windfarm will begin this summer and it will enter service in 2008, making a significant contribution towards Scotland's target of generating 10 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010.

ScottishPower is already the UK's largest onshore windfarm developer with 288 megawatts of capacity in operation, nearly 500 megawatts under construction or approved and a further 840 megawatts in the planning process.

Announcing the go-ahead for the new windfarm, ScottishPower's chief executive Philip Bowman said it was vital that financial incentives to build windfarms through the Government's renewable obligation scheme remained intact, otherwise investor confidence would be damaged and the UK's green energy targets threatened.