Plans to construct Europe’s largest onshore wind farm in South Lanarkshire have been approved by ministers in Scotland. The 152-turbine wind farm at Clyde, Abington, will have a total capacity of 548 MW and will be capable of powering up to 320,000 homes. Currently the largest operational wind farm in Europe is at Guadalajara, Spain, which has a generating capacity of 208MW.
Construction of the £660m Clyde scheme, which will be undertaken by Scottish and Southern Energy, is due to begin early next year, with final completion in 2011. The project is expected to create 200 jobs during the construction phase, with 30 staff employed on completion.
The new wind farm will also play an important role in helping the UK to meet European renewable energy targets. Last year EU leaders agreed to adopt a legally-binding scheme whereby member states are required to obtain 20% of national energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. Scottish and Southern Energy Chief Executive Ian Marchant has described the project as ‘essential’ if the UK is to have any hope of meeting the EU target.