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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 November, 2004, 18:10 GMT
Scotland to host record wind farm
Wind turbine
The proposed development would contain 234 turbines
Plans to build the world's biggest onshore wind farm in Scotland have been submitted.

The development for the north of the Isle of Lewis in the Western Isles would meet the electricity needs of one in five people in Scotland.

More than 300 jobs would be created during the wind farm's four-year construction and a further 350 jobs over its 25-year lifetime.

The plans have been lodged by Lewis Wind Power, a joint venture company.

It was formed by British Energy and London-based energy firm Amec.

The 234-turbines would generate enough green energy to supply electricity to 450,000 homes - around 1.1 million people.

We firmly believe the farm would play a vital role in the development of the Western Isles as Europe's leading centre for renewable energy
David Hodkinson
Lewis Wind Farm director

The development would meet around 6% of the UK's renewable energy targets and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.85 million tonnes per annum, when compared with coal-fired power stations.

The developer estimates the 702-megawatt wind farm could generate up to 8m a year for the Western Isles economy.

David Hodkinson, Lewis Wind Power director, said there would be no damage to the north west coast's wildlife or landscape as a result of the project.

He said: "We firmly believe the Lewis Wind Farm would play a vital role in the development of the Western Isles as Europe's leading centre for renewable energy, at the same time as helping Scotland and the UK meet their respective renewable energy targets.

"We acknowledge there are concerns about the impacts of the proposal on birds and on the landscape of north Lewis and have worked hard, including commissioning the largest bird survey ever undertaken in Europe, in developing the design to minimise these impacts."

The Scottish Executive confirmed the planning application had been received and said it would make a decision on whether to approve the proposals next year.

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