Galawhistle wind farm wins approval

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Planning consent has been granted for a wind farm which will generate 55 megawatts electricity or enough to power 31,311 homes.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has approved the Galawhistle wind farm, 7km east of Muirkirk in East Ayrshire and 4km west of Douglas in South Lanarkshire.

The wind farm will have 22 wind turbines, and will create between 17 and 34 jobs in the local community during construction, as well as longer term roles. Through a community fund it intends to deliver approximately £2.7 million to the local economy during the 25 years of operation.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:

“The Galawhistle site will represent a significant boost to the local economy and create jobs during construction.

“Once it is up and running the wind farm will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and will produce enough electricity to power more than 30,000 homes.

“I am confident that Galawhistle will provide great benefits to its local community and play an important part in helping Scotland reach its target of the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand generated from renewables.

“In consenting this application I have put in place a series of conditions to protect the outstanding natural habitats and landscapes and local communities.”

Developers Infinis Plc applied to the Scottish Government in March 2010. Two objections from members of the public were received. Both South Lanarkshire Council and East Ayrshire Council were supportive of the application, subject to certain conditions.

The Scottish Government has determined 72 energy applications, including 57 renewable applications: 33 onshore wind, 1 offshore wind, 19 hydro, 4 wave and tidal; and 15 non-renewable projects since May 2007. Of the 57 renewable applications consented by the Scottish Government, 51 have been consented and 6 rejected.

The Scottish Government’s Energy Consents and Deployment Unit is currently considering another 42 applications of >50GW capacity generating stations, including 39 renewables: 2 Hydro, 3 Biomass, 34 Onshore wind, plus 2 non-renewable Hydro and 1 non-renewable thermal stations. In addition to this there are 10 active applications for overhead lines.