Europe's Largest Wind Farm Given Green Light

Plans to build Europe's largest onshore wind farm have been given the green light.

Scottish Ministers have approved plans for the 152-turbine Clyde wind farm near Abington.

It is reported that the machines will stand 163 metres tall from base to blade tip and will be the biggest land-based turbine in Europe.

The £600 million scheme will create 200 jobs during construction and will employ 30 staff when fully operational and when completed, the windfarm will power 320,000 homes.

Detail of the wind farm were announced by First Minister Alex Salmond at the World Renewable Energy Congress in Glasgow, which is held every two years.

"The Scottish Government has an ambitious target to generate 31% of Scotland's electricity demand from renewable sources by 2011 and 50% by 2020," he said.

Mr Salmond added: "Scotland has a clear, competitive advantage in developing clean, green energy sources such as wind, wave and tidal power."

Chris Eagle, Commercial Manager at Energy Choices said: "The move to increase production of renewable energy is positive and this new farm could help Britain meet its hugely ambitious new wind energy targets.

"The sheer scale of the project suggests great possibilities of converting more and more of the country to wind power."

Wansbeck councillors had approved the action in principle seven months ago but plans had been stalled after an objection was submitted by Newcastle Airport which expressed fears that the turbines would interfere with air traffic control radar and therefore pose a safety risk.

However, after the council obtained "expert aviation and legal advice" it was concluded that the airport had not demonstrated that the turbines would have an "adverse effect on operational safety".

It is understood the Clyde wind farm will be built in clusters on either side of the M74 motorway and will have a total capacity of 548 megawatts (MW).

It is the largest of seven turbines that Hainsford Energy is planning to build to replace the existing Blyth Harbour Wind Farm which has been producing energy since 1993.

Charles Rose, Director of Hainsford Energy said "there are still formalities to be completed" but that he "hopes the final planning consent will be issued soon".

He added that the onshore turbines would "enhance the landscape" and that the machines would "become icons for the whole wind industry".

The biggest operational wind farm that is operational in Europe is the Maranchon wind farm in Guadalajara, Spain, which has a generating capacity of 208 MW.


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