Welcome!

News Item

Switch-On at Europe's Largest Onshore Windfarm Powering 180,000 Homes

Planning Consent is Granted to Power a Further 70,000

Scottish Power's Chairman Ignacio Galán was joined today by Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond MSP to celebrate the completion of ScottishPower Renewables' Whitelee Windfarm, Europe's largest onshore wind power project.

The initial 140 turbines situated across the 55 km squared site will be capable of producing up to 322MW of electricity - enough to power over 180,000 homes and the equivalent of displacing 500,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. A proposal to extend this by another 130 MW has today been approved by the Scottish Government, thus powering an additional 70,000 homes. In addition, the company is also carrying out scoping work on a potential second extension, which could add a further 140MW. It is anticipated that an official planning application will be submitted for this later in the summer. This would mean a total capacity of near 600 MW.

In its position 370 metres above sea level, 15km to Glasgow, there are over 500,000 people living within a 30km radius of Whitelee. This is one of the first major windfarms to be constructed close to large population centres, and an ever increasing supply of renewable energy has been fed directly into these areas since the site first started exporting power in January 2008.

As well as the physical construction of the turbines, the GBP300 million project has also seen the creation of a 90km floating* road network and the connection of over 970km of cables to link the turbines to the national grid. A GBP2m state-of-the-art visitor centre is also in the process of being completed.

At its peak over 500 people were working on-site and more than 1,820,000 working hours have been spent constructing the windfarm. It is thought that both the first extension and planned second extension could create a further 300 green collar jobs.

Switching on one of the final turbines at Whitelee today, Galán, said: "Whitelee is a milestone in the history of Scotland, not only representing the largest wind farm in Europe but also one of the largest in the world."

"Iberdrola is fully committed to all the markets where it is active and aspires to be an engine for development and growth. Iberdrola is committed to helping Scotland and the UK fully realise its renewable energy potential as we seek to create wealth and prosperity through our investments and local procurement, and also by creating jobs.

"The excellent location of Whitelee has always meant that it would be possible to extend the windfarm, and we are delighted that the Scottish Government has approved our plans to do so."

ScottishPower, part of the Iberdrola Group, has a 9,000-strong workforce in the UK, and registered revenues in the country of nearly GBP7 billion last year. It invested around GBP800 million in Scotland in 2008 and made purchases of more than GBP1 billion from around 2,400 Scottish suppliers.

Commenting Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond MSP said:

"Today we announce further investment, more jobs and greater progress of Scotland's clean, green energy revolution.

"Our potential for electricity generation from renewables is up to 60GW - more than ten times our peak demand. We have launched the world's greatest single prize for innovation in marine energy, the GBP10 million Saltire Prize; we are developing and applying clean fossil fuel technology; we have an unrivalled competitive advantage in carbon capture and storage; we have approved Siadar, one of the largest wave energy projects on the planet; as well as developing and consenting hydro and biomass projects. Harnessing all these opportunities has the potential to create more than 16,000 jobs in Scotland over the next decade.

"Whitelee in its current form is already flying the flag for onshore wind power in Europe. The planned extension, which I am delighted to announce today, will enable the windfarm to harness its comparative and competitive advantage in wind generated energy within Europe. It has the infrastructure, the expertise and the capacity to continue to develop in the future.

"During its initial construction, the windfarm employed more than 500 people and ploughed GBP300 million investment directly into the Scottish economy. The benefits of this investment go beyond East Renfrewshire and beyond our real economy. It is an investment in Scotland's potential and ambition to lead the clean, green energy revolution."

The windfarm at Whitelee has been a decade in the making, after the site was first identified in 1999. To plan a project on this scale required in-depth consultation with a wide and varied group of stakeholders. During this process, SPR agreed to construct a new radar station for Glasgow Airport on the site of a disused power station in Kincardine following concerns about potential technical issues.

A working group was also formed with the RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Forestry Commission to develop a 25km squared habitat management area. The key aim of this group is to enhance the landscape and create an environmental legacy for the site rather than simply minimising the impact of the project. The group are working to promote blanket bog and moorland regeneration and improve conditions for native species such as Black and Red Grouse as well as a variety of wading birds and upland wildlife.

Now that construction is drawing to a close, finishing work will be carried out on the road network and the GBP2m state-of-the-art visitor centre will be completed. The visitor centre will be the first of its kind in the UK and will include an exhibition area explaining the construction of the windfarm and a unique renewable energy education centre which will be operated by specially trained staff.

As part of the company's plans to make the site fully accessible, tours of the windfarm will also be available for visitors, and plans are being made to introduce eco-friendly buses powered by electricity generated from the site. The site will be fully opened to the public later in the summer, making it one of Scotland's largest eco-tourist attractions.

Iberdrola is one of the main utilities in the UK, where its subsidiary ScottishPower is the third biggest distributor of electricity. ScottishPower Renewables is the largest wind power operator in the UK with a capacity today of nearly 760 MW, accounting for more than 7% of the Group total worldwide and sufficient to power 425,000 homes. It has a project pipeline of 5,100 MW in the UK, and will in the next few months start construction on around 400 MW.

Iberdrola Renovables, parent company of ScottishPower Renewables, is world leader in wind power** with a total installed capacity of 9,624 MW at the end of March 2009. It has the largest project pipeline in the world (56,000 MW***), with a wide geographical diversification.

More Stories By ITSG News Desk

ITSG News Desk trawls the world's news sources for stories and updates on IT solutions that deliver ROI by reducing costs and/or cutting time-to-market, as well as other products and services that can produce bottom-line gains for enterprises.

Latest Stories
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Codigm is based on the cloud and we are here to explore marketing opportunities in America. Our mission is to make an ecosystem of the SW environment that anyone can understand, learn, teach, and develop the SW on the cloud," explained Sung Tae Ryu, CEO of Codigm, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
"CA has been doing a lot of things in the area of DevOps. Now we have a complete set of tool sets in order to enable customers to go all the way from planning to development to testing down to release into the operations," explained Aruna Ravichandran, Vice President of Global Marketing and Strategy at CA Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
Data scientists must access high-performance computing resources across a wide-area network. To achieve cloud-based HPC visualization, researchers must transfer datasets and visualization results efficiently. HPC clusters now compute GPU-accelerated visualization in the cloud cluster. To efficiently display results remotely, a high-performance, low-latency protocol transfers the display from the cluster to a remote desktop. Further, tools to easily mount remote datasets and efficiently transfer...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...