19 November 2002 – Energy Minister Brian Wilson opened Powergen Renewables’ largest wind farm to date Monday.
Bowbeat Hill, near Peebles, is the biggest wind farm in Scotland in terms of generation capacity and one of the largest in the UK.
The minister said: “The fact that these 24 turbines can provide enough electricity to power half the homes in the borders is indicative of what will be possible once the renewables revolution really gains momentum and public support.
Sixty people were employed at Bangor on manufacturing these towers and that is an example which I want to pursue from now on, with the work associated with renewables creating jobs in the UK. Renewable energy is not only a great source of energy but also a huge opportunity for British manufacturing.”
Mark Draper, Managing Director of Powergen’s Generation business, said: “We’re delighted that the Minister has taken time out from his busy schedule to open what is our largest wind farm to date.
“The project shows Powergen’s commitment to generating electricity from green sources and is a major step towards the Government’s target for 10 per cent of the UK’s electricity to come from renewable generation by 2010.”
The turbines, which were built by Nordex, stand around 75m high to blade tip. The scheme’s annual output of electricity will provide enough electricity to power around 22 500 homes and displace enough fossil fuel generation to prevent the emission of 50 000 tonnes of CO2 a year.
Powergen Renewables currently has a portfolio of 17 wind farms in the UK and Ireland with a capacity of 135 MW.
Powergen recently bought out Abbot Group, its joint venture partner, to take sole control of Powergen Renewables.
Speaking about the government’s attitude to wind generated power, Wilson said, “Wind power has a vital contribution to make towards our renewable energy targets. The Government will encourage developments both onshore and offshore, and create the right conditions for both larger scale power projects like this one and also smaller scale community initiatives to move ahead.”