ScottishPower Renewables yesterday officially opened two wind farms in southern Scotland that take its total UK installed wind capacity to 1 GW.
First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond and chair of parent company Iberdrola and Iberdrola Renewables Ignacio Galán formally switched on the 28-turbine 56 MW Mark Hill and 60-turbine 120 MW Arecleoch wind farms near Barrhill in South Ayrshire.
The latest two wind farms will generate enough power for up to 100,000 homes and take ScottishPower Renewables’ total wind electricity capacity to 1 GW, enough for up to 600,000 homes.
The company now has 24 wind farms in the UK, 15 of them in Scotland, including Europe’s largest onshore facility at Whitelee near Glasgow.
“The opening of the Arecleoch and Mark Hill wind farms here in South Ayrshire is a significant milestone for ScottishPower Renewables,” said First Minister Salmond. “It also underlines both the rapid progress Scotland has made in clean energy generation.”
The region now has some 7 GW of renewables capacity installed, under construction or consented, which should enable Scotland to exceed its target of producing 31% of its electricity use from renewables in 2011.
“It is through the leadership of companies such as ScottishPower Renewables that we have made such progress and why, as we increasingly develop our offshore energy resources, I am confident that we will achieve our target for Scotland to generate from renewables the equivalent of 100% of our own electricity needs by 2020,” Salmond added.
The news may come as some comfort to ScottishPower customers aggrieved at having to bear substantial price rises for their electricity and gas supply.
The company has also agreed to work with the Scottish Government on a £10 million programme to improve energy efficiency in homes in specific parts of the region.
ScottishPower will work with the Scottish Government, councils and other agencies to identify households most in need of help to upgrade insulation and heating systems.
For further information:
UK lagging behind European neighbours in number of wind turbines (15-Jun)
Scottish Power price hike could drive households towards energy efficiency (9-Jun)
New Scottish Government pledges 100% renewable electricity by 2020 (19-May)
15 June 2011