Largest Onshore Wind Farm Given the
Jan 20, 2007, The Independent, London
Scottish & Southern unveiled plans yesterday to build
the UK's largest onshore wind farm - capable of powering
a quarter of all homes in Scotland - in the Shetland
The project, which is still subject to planning permission
from the Scottish Executive, will be run in conjunction
with the Shetland Islands' council, who will own a
50 per cent stake in the site through their subsidiary
Viking Energy. The council will plough all profits
from the venture back into the local community.
The farm will have approximately 300 wind turbines,
covering 90 square kilometres of land and producing
around 600 megawatts of power. The plan is to connect
the farm to the Scottish mainland using a cable which
will run underneath the sea.
With the backing of the Shetland Islands' council
already sown up, the project has a good chance of
receiving the green light from the Scottish Parliament.
Commenting on the launch of the project yesterday,
Sir Robert Smith, Scottish & Southern's chairman,
who signed the partnership agreement for SSE in Shetland
today, said: "SSE has a long- established track record
in renewable energy and ambitious plans for the future.
This agreement helps pave the way for a renewable
energy project which can be a world leader in terms
of scale, the richness of the natural resources being
harnessed and the involvement of the local community.
"Our partnership with Viking Energy is an exciting
and significant step forward and I am optimistic that
our joint venture for this leading-edge renewable
energy project will become a reality."
Scottish & Southern also received planning permission
for another smaller wind farm yesterday, at Toddleburn
on the Scottish borders. The farm will comprise just
12 turbines, generating some 36 megawatts of electricity,
and will cost [pound]40m to build.
When the Toddleburn site is completed, the company
will have more than 230 megawatts of power generated
through its wind farms. Commenting on the news yesterday,
Ian Marchant, the group's chief executive, said that
while it was a relief to have received the go- ahead
for the Toddleburn site, Scotland's planning system
remains too complex. "I am pleased that the Toddleburn
wind farm has received consent, and we will work to
ensure that the construction work at Toddleburn is
carried out efficiently and with minimal disturbance
to the local community," he said.
"While we have had two recent successes, securing
consent to develop wind farms remains a very difficult
and time-consuming process, and reform is essential
if Scotland's renewable energy ambitions are to be
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