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Scottish Government approves new wind farm in South Lanarkshire

51MW Middle Muir Wind Farm to feature the highest turbines on the UK mainland to date.

The granting of planning permission  for Middle Muir Wind Farm, North of Crawfordjohn is a landmark decision, as 7 of the 15 turbines within the wind farm reach to a height of 152m — the highest turbines approved on the UK mainland. This ensures that the turbines are able to maximise the electricity generated from the available wind resource, which is good for both the environment and the economy.

The wind farm, which already received the backing of South Lanarkshire Council following an extensive and thorough period of community consultation and technical assessment, will produce enough clean, green energy to power around 28,253 homes.

“The Scottish Government and South Lanarkshire Council have been extremely diligent during the entire process, and we would like to thank them for the professional way in which the process has been run leading up to this important decision,” said Colin Anderson, development director of Banks Renewables.

The project will help bring more jobs, investment and carbon free power to South Lanarkshire, Anderson noted. (Project managers have made a clear commitment to maximise the use of local contractors and businesses during construction and future operation of the wind farm.) In addition, the Middlemuir Community Fund — to be managed by South Lanarkshire Council — will support the many groups and clubs active in the area and will fund many worthwhile projects that are hugely important to local people over the life of the wind farm.

“The £6.37 million fund has already made a commitment of over £600,000 into a new employment and training program, to be delivered in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council,” Anderson said. “This will seek to increase the opportunities and prospects of local people and businesses – helping around 180 people over the five year term of the programme.”

Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Energy Minister, said the new wind farm will support the country’s efforts in tackling climate change. “Once it is up and running, the Middle Muir wind farm will help reduce carbon emissions from our electricity generation,” he explained. “Wind farms, like Middle Muir, play an important part in helping Scotland reach its target of the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand generated from renewables.”

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Scotland’s renewable electricity generation in the first half of 2014 was 30 per cent higher compared to the same period in 2013. This overall increase is primarily due to a 50 per cent increase in hydro generation and a 20 per cent increase in wind output.

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Wind power