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Last Updated: Monday, 10 September 2007, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Second biggest wind farm approved
Wind turbine
The wind farm will be the second largest in Scotland
The Scottish Government has approved plans for the second largest wind farm in Scotland, capable of generating power for 120,000 homes.

The project will be created at Harestanes, near Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway, and comprise of 71 turbines.

The turbines will be built within the Forest of Ae and be run by CRE Energy, a subsidiary of Scottish Power.

The site is expected to generate 213 megawatts of power and be second in size only to Whitelee, near Glasgow.

The news comes after SNP ministers were criticised last week for failing to approve any new wind farms since they came to office in May.

But on Friday, First Minister Alex Salmond used Green Energy Day to highlight his party's Green credentials by claiming Scotland now had the ability to produce more green energy than nuclear power.

The proposal at Harestanes will provide enough power for 120,000 homes, another step to fulfilling our green energy potential
Jim Mathers
Energy Minister

Announcing the Harestanes development, Energy Minister Jim Mather said it was time for Scotland to harness its "vast potential" to generate electricity from renewable energy.

He said: "The evidence being that at the moment, the combined generation potential of the renewable energy projects currently with Scottish Ministers amounts to up to six gigawatts of electricity.

"While we cannot have onshore wind farms anywhere or at any price to the environment, it is clear that onshore wind will continue to play a crucial role over the next few years.

"The proposal at Harestanes will provide enough power for 120,000 homes, another step to fulfilling our green energy potential."

Scottish Power renewables managing director, Keith Anderson, said construction on the wind farm was due to begin in the spring of 2008, with the first turbine due to arrive by 2010.

He added: "This wind farm alone will save carbon dioxide emissions of almost 500,000 tonnes each year.

"If we as a nation are to realise our renewables potential, and achieve our challenging renewable targets of 6GW by 2020, then the UK and Scottish Governments must continue to provide real commitment in terms of infrastructure, investment and political leadership."

'Visual impact'

The Harestanes 200m development was given the go-ahead as consent was refused for wind farms at both Clashindarroch near Huntly in Aberdeenshire and Calliacher near Aberfeldy in Perthshire.

Ministers found that the Clashindarroch project would have a potentially harmful impact on Deveron Valley landscape, while Calliacher would have an unacceptable visual impact on Glen Quaich and on Loch Freuchie.

However, the Reporter indicated that the Calliacher project would be acceptable if reduced below 50MW.

As ministers do not have powers under the Electricity Act to consent below 50MW, the developer could pursue the application via a planning application to the local authority.


SEE ALSO
Salmond rejects UK nuclear policy
07 Sep 07 |  South of Scotland
Forest turbine inquiry under way
13 Jun 06 |  South of Scotland
Objection to revised turbine plan
03 May 06 |  Scotland

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