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Green light for wind farm upgrade  

Ministers have approved an increase in capacity at Mid Hill wind farm near Banchory, which will bring its total generating capacity to 75 Megawatts.

The 25 Megawatt upgrade is capable of meeting electricity demand for an additional 13,000 homes.

Energy Minister Jim Mather said: “Granting consent for this increase in capacity at Mid Hill is another step towards fulfilling Scotland’s green energy potential.

“Already, the installed capacity of renewable energy has overtaken nuclear power. Scotland has the potential to become the green energy capital of Europe. Whether it is onshore or offshore wind, tidal, wave, biomass, clean coal or carbon capture technology, Scotland has a powerful comparative advantage in clean, green sources of energy – and a Scottish government with the commitment to drive forward a diverse and balanced non-nuclear energy strategy.

“We can achieve secure, clean, low carbon energy through harnessing Scotland’s vast potential, tackling climate change without adding to the burden of toxic radioactive waste that new nuclear power would bring.

“That’s why this Government is building an energy strategy which will include the whole renewable mix – from biomass to the energy we can generate from wave and tide.”

ENERGY STATISTICS

The Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit is currently processing 39 renewable project applications – 30 wind farm and nine hydro projects.

In respect of applications under section 36 of the Electricity Act, current renewable applications to Ministers amount to a total of 4.34 Gigawatts. which are all at various stages of the consents process and still to be determined.

The Unit have also provided pre application “scoping” opinions for a further two Gigawatts of potential renewable development.

To give a scale of the potential energy quantities involved, 6.34 Gigawatts would be more enough to power all of Scotland’s homes, and is 2.3 times the current installed renewables capacity of 2730 Megawatts.

There are 454 wind turbines operational in Scotland and a further 168 turbines have been approved by Ministers but are not yet operational. Applications have been made to Ministers for a further 1700 turbines

Nine energy project proposals have now been determined by this Scottish Government. This includes consent for five renewable projects, including Harestanes near Moffat, which will be Scotland’s second largest wind farm.

Installed renewables capacity in Scotland is now around 2730 Megawatts. Nuclear capacity is 2400 Megawatts.

In Scotland between 2005 and 2006:

* Electricity generated by renewable sources (apart from hydro natural flow) increased by 46 per cent
* As a result of unplanned outages, nuclear’s share of generation fell from 38 per cent to 26 per cent in Scotland.
* In 2006, Scotland could have supplied 92.5 per cent of its electricity needs from non-nuclear sources
* Electricity generated in Scotland increased by nine per cent
* In 2005, Scotland exported 15 per cent of the electricity generated to consumers elsewhere in the UK, but this rose to 20 per cent in 2006
* Continuation of the rate of growth in these other renewables would result in achievement of the Scottish Government’s renewable electricity targets of 31 per cent by 2011 and 50 per cent by 2020

Any proposal to construct, extend or operate a wind farm with a generation capacity in excess of 50 Megawatt (MW) requires the consent of Scottish Ministers under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.

Based on the projected generation output figures, the developers of the wind farm estimated the Mid Hill upgrade will be capable of meeting the demand for an additional 15,000 homes.

However, the Scottish Government announced a new target to generate 50% of Scotland’s electricity from renewables sources by 2020 on 27 November 2007.

The new calculation method takes account of grid transmission losses between the source of electricity and consumers, which average 12 per cent. The projected generation output figures have therefore been reduced to show the wind farm is capable of meeting the electricity demand of: Mid Hill upgrade – 15,000 – 12 per cent = 13,200 homes

In September 2004, Mid Hill Wind Ltd received consent from Aberdeenshire Council to construct for a 49.9MW wind farm.

In October 2006, Mid Hill Wind Ltd applied to Scottish Ministers for consent to increase the operating capacity of the Mid Hill wind farm up to 75MW. This brought the scheme above 50MW and required the consent of Scottish Ministers in terms of section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.

The Scottish Government

25 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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