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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
Work begins on largest wind farm
Alistair Darling at Eaglesham Moor
The trade and industry secretary was on hand to launch the project
Work is set to begin on constructing what will become the largest onshore wind farm in Europe.

The 300m Whitelee project will see 140 turbines built on the Eaglesham Moor, south of Glasgow.

It is claimed that they will generate 322 megawatts of electricity - enough to power 200,000 homes.

The project was launched by the Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling, who also unveiled a UK-wide consultation on renewable energy.

The government is seeking views on how it can reach its target of generating 20% of the UK's electricity from renewable sources.

Mr Darling said the Whitelee project would make a "major contribution" to the government's aims of securing energy supplies and tackling climate change.

"Scotland has long been the UK's powerhouse and is now establishing itself in the vanguard on renewables," he said.

wind farm graphic

"Some 16% of Scotland's electricity already comes from these sources, compared to 4% for the UK as a whole, and Whitelee will save a further 250,000 tonnes of harmful CO2 every year."

The wind farm, which is being constructed by Scottish Power, will take three years to complete.

Eaglesham Community Council objected to the scheme on the grounds of its size and location, although the area's local authorities did not oppose the development.

The project will be three times the size of the UK's current biggest wind farm, which is located at Blacklaw near Forth in South Lanarkshire.

Scottish Power's chief executive, Philip Bowman said: "As Europe's largest onshore wind farm, Whitelee represents a great step forward for the UK in tackling climate change, and is crucial to meeting the government's targets for green energy."

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