Minister opens UK’s first unsubsidized windfarm

London, 23 October 2001 – Rhona Brankin MSP, Deputy Minister for the Environment and Rural Development, yesterday officially opened ScottishPower’s Hare Hill windfarm in Ayrshire, the first in the UK to be constructed without subsidy.

The windfarm, near New Cumnock, is ScottishPower’s tenth in the UK and Eire and brings its total ownership of renewable energy generation to around 100 MW.

Hare Hill was built at a cost of ௿½10m and has been operating successfully over the past few months delivering an output of 13 MW.

It is the next step in ScottishPower’s planned ௿½400m investment to add at least a further 500 MW of wind generation by 2010, which would meet more than half of Scotland’s renewable energy targets. Sites earmarked for development include Eaglesham Moor, near Glasgow and Forth, in South Lanarkshire, rated together at 360 MW. Both could be operational by 2003 at the earliest. ScottishPower’s 30 MW development at Beinn an Tuirc, in Kintyre, is currently under construction and is scheduled to begin generating later this year.

Ken Vowles, ScottishPower executive director, UK Power Operations, said, “ScottishPower has been at the forefront of renewable energy development, which in addition to the gains this has brought to the business, has also allowed more and more customer to exercise a preference for green energy”.

The 20 turbines at Hare Hill occupy one of the windiest sites ScottishPower has surveyed. It was the first in the UK to be constructed without financial incentive schemes for renewable energy, such as the Scottish Renewables Order and its equivalent in England, the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation.

The 62-meter high turbines, with blades 47 meter in diameter, are driven by the prevailing westerlies which cross Ayrshire unimpeded until they hit the 2000 foot Hare Hill. The windfarm will displace more than 40 000 tonnes of greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, each year by offsetting coal-fired generation.

ScottishPower will monitor the area to ensure operations will not affect the local environment, including the many species of birds, which nest on the hill, and other varieties of wildlife such as otters and migrating geese. A community fund has been set up to support local projects of an environmental, educational or charitable nature.

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