SSE welcomes decision on Clyde wind farm extension
11 Dec 2012
SSE Renewables, the renewable energy development division of SSE, welcomes the decision by both South Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Borders Council to raise no objection to the proposed Clyde wind farm extension, situated between Biggar, Abington and Moffat.
The rulings represent a major step forward in the consent process for the development and SSE now awaits the final decision from Scottish Ministers, which is expected next year.
As a responsible developer, SSE has been in regular liaison with the community, local authorities and other stakeholders and has sought to address any concerns raised during the consultation process. This has included making amendments to the number of turbines, their location and ‘tip height’ – the maximum height of the turbine blades.
If approved by Scottish Ministers, the proposed 54 turbine wind farm will have a maximum generating capacity of 162MW and will be located to the north-east of SSE’s constructed, and recently fully operational, 350MW Clyde wind farm. Of the 54 turbines, 3 turbines are located within Scottish Borders Council boundary and the remaining 51 turbines are located within South Lanarkshire Council area.
It is predicted that the extension to Clyde wind farm will secure and create up to 500 full time jobs across Scotland during the construction phase and, once operational, will support a further 38 full time jobs. This builds on the 58 full time roles based at the existing Clyde wind farm, which includes 4 apprentices.
If consented, the Community Investment Fund associated with the Clyde extension could have a value of approx £20 million over the lifetime of the project. This adds to the existing Clyde wind farm fund of around £22 million which has helped to fund a number of community projects in South Lanarkshire, Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway including £110,000 to the Biggar Rugby Club for improvements to their grounds and a £25,000 award to the Save the Crook Inn Campaign in Tweedsmuir.
SSE is committed to using local businesses where possible and during the construction phase for Clyde wind farm almost £100m was spent on Scottish contractors and an estimated £3m was spent on local accommodation, food, fuel and sundries. If consented, the local economy could expect a similar boost during the construction of the extension.
Director of Onshore Renewables, Colin Nicol, said: “I’m delighted that both South Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Borders Council have raised no objection to the project and I look forward to the final decision from Scottish Ministers in 2013.
“Through the successful delivery of Clyde wind farm, we have demonstrated that SSE is a responsible developer who takes a sensitive approach to proposed developments. In planning the proposed extension to Clyde we’ve looked to use existing wind farm infrastructure where possible and minimise the impact to the local community.
“The proposed investment will bring significant benefits to the region through direct and in-direct employment, long-term support for community projects and a positive contribution to the local economy.”