Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

Huge wind farm to get even bigger

Whitelee wind farm
Whitlee wind farm will be able to power 275,000 homes

Planning approval has been given for a wind farm in Scotland to grow - making it the largest onshore site in Europe.

The Whitelee wind farm on Eaglesham Moor, East Renfrewshire, currently has 140 turbines.

ScottishPower Renewables has been given the go-ahead to add another 39 turbines bringing the wind farm's generating capacity up to 593 MW.

The Scottish government said the growth would enable the site to power 275,000 homes and support 200 jobs.

The expansion was announced by First Minister Alex Salmond at a news conference in Edinburgh.

He said: "Scotland continues to lead the way in developing the technology and capacity - in renewables, in carbon capture, in energy efficiency measures - to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change.

"The Whitelee extension underlines Scotland's place at the cutting edge of green energy and our comprehensive climate change framework, including the world-leading emission reduction targets of 42% and 80% by 2020 and 2050 respectively."

'Ambitious targets'

Mr Salmond also unveiled plans to work with one of the countries most vulnerable to rising sea levels to tackle the impact of global warming.

The first minister said he would be in Copenhagen next week to sign a joint-statement with The Maldives President, Mohamed Nasheed.

This will highlight Scotland's ambitious climate change targets and press for a similarly ambitious global agreement.

He added: "This week Scotland became one of the first countries in the world to publish a climate change adaptation framework.

"Along with our plans to increase green energy capacity and cut emissions, our adaption plans can provide an exemplar to other nations on building resilience to the potential risks.

"This will form part of our work with the Maldives, to transfer knowledge about the capacity building needed to respond to the huge challenges posed by the climate change around us."

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