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Monday, 18 November, 2002, 15:09 GMT
Wind farm blows into action
Wind farm, Peebles
The Borders is considering more wind farms
Scotland's most powerful wind farm has been officially opened by the UK's Energy Minister Brian Wilson.

The site near Peebles in the Scottish Borders will provide electricity for more than 22,000 homes.

With 24 wind turbines each standing 75 metres high, the wind farm built on Bowbeat Hill - four miles north-east of Peebles - will be the most powerful in the country.

Brian Wilson, Energy Minister
Brian Wilson: "Great source of energy"
Mr Wilson said the new resource had a "vital contribution" to make in helping the Government to meet its own targets of 10% of electricity being produced from sustainable energy by 2010.

He added that he hoped the renewables industry would soon begin to create more jobs in Scotland.

Mr Wilson said: "Renewable energy is not only a great source of energy, but also a huge opportunity for British manufacturing.

"Scotland has its own special potential for renewable energy and I am committed to creating a manufacturing base to match."

The 20m project has been developed by electricity firm Powergen.


People are learning that sites don't have the impact they feared

Councillor John Elliot
Borders Council
There has been a huge emphasis from the government on the need to develop renewable energy sources for environmental reasons.

Wind energy is less harmful to the environment and taps into one of Scotland's most plentiful natural resources.

The towers for the Peebles wind farm were built by Cambrian Energy in North Wales.

But the company is hoping to begin production in Scotland early in the new year.

It is developing the former Arnish oil fabrication yard in the Western Isles and will create 65 jobs.

The Borders already has one wind farm on Soutra Hill, with 26 turbines split either side of the A68.

'Energy capital'

And Councillor John Elliot, of the Borders Council, said he believed people in the area were becoming more tolerant of wind farms as they got used to them.

He said: "People are learning that sites don't have the impact they feared.

"When you are driving past you can't hear anything. There is more noise coming from the car."

Two further wind farms have been approved in Berwickshire near Duns and in the Lammermuir Hills.

Approval for a third, also in the Lammermuirs is being sought. If all go ahead, the Borders will be the renewable energy capital of Britain.

See also:

01 Oct 02 | England
24 Sep 02 | England
14 Feb 02 | N Ireland
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