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71-turbine wind farm project near Moffat approved

A wind farm which will supply energy for more than 100,000 homes has been approved by the Scottish Government.

The 71-turbine development at Harestanes near Moffat, in Dumfries and Galloway, is the first to be approved by the SNP-led administration.

ScottishPower applied for permission for the 213 megawatt capacity project costing around £200m, but an objection from the local council led to a public inquiry with the final decision taken by ministers after the inquiry reporter recommended approval. The development is expected to begin operating by 2010.

Keith Anderson, ScottishPower renewables managing director, said: “Harestanes is our third large wind farm approval, following our successes at Whitelee and Black Law, and confirms the major role that such projects have to play in delivering targets for and making a real difference to climate change.

“This wind farm alone will save carbon dioxide emissions of almost 500,000 tonnes each year.”

Dumfries and Galloway’s objection that it would damage the visual landscape was rejected. The reporter concluded the wind farm “would make a major contribution towards meeting renewable energy targets, and a worthwhile contribution to reducing CO2 emissions. It would therefore be consistent with the thrust of energy policy.”

Energy Minister, Jim Mather, said: “While we cannot have onshore wind farms anywhere or at any price to the environment, it is clear that onshore wind will continue to play a crucial role over the next few years.

“The proposal at Harestanes will provide enough power for 120,000 homes, another step to fulfiling our green energy potential.”

By Stewart Paterson

The Herald

11 September 2007