September 8, 2010

Whitelee wind farm to expand as £164m deal with Alstom is signed

Douglas Hamilton, The Herald, 8 September 2010

ScottishPower Renewables has struck a deal with Alstom, the big French engineering group, for more than 70 wind turbines to expand the capacity of its Whitelee Windfarm near Glasgow to 539 megawatts (MW).

A spokesman for Alstom in Paris said the contract is worth about €200 million (£164m).

The deal includes supply, transportation, installation, commissioning, and operation and maintenance of the turbines, Alstom added.

The Whitelee project will use 69 Alstom ECO 100 wind turbines with a 3MW capacity and six ECO 74 turbines with 1.6MW capacity each. This expansion will confirm Whitelee’s status as the largest wind farm in Europe.

The wind farm is located on Eaglesham Moor south of Glasgow and currently has a capacity of 322MW generated by 140 Siemens turbines spanning 90 kilometres.

It is one of the world’s flagship wind farms and also accommodates Scotland’s first renewable energy learning centre.

Simon Christian, UK director of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “The agreement with Alstom means that work will start shortly on this major extension at Whitelee windfarm, and we expect to be generating electricity by 2012. By itself at 217MW, the extension would be one of the largest onshore windfarms in the UK, so we are starting another major construction project in Scotland.

“Whitelee windfarm is already the largest onshore windfarm in Europe and this extension pushing the overall capacity to 539MW will make it one of the largest in the world.”

“The extension project will provide up to 200 jobs and, when complete, the overall windfarm will be capable of producing enough electricity to power over 300,000 homes.”

The deal with ScottishPower Renewables, a subsidiary of the Spanish Iberdrola Renewables, is part of a wider plan with Alstom to supply 250 of its wind turbines to nine of Iberdrola’s wind farms in Spain and the UK with a combined capacity of 500MW.

Iberdrola has already installed 85MW of Alstom technology at its Badaia and Almendros sites in Spain and Clachan Flats wind farm in Scotland. Projects to supply a further 98MW are currently under construction at its Cruz de Carrutero, Fuentesalada and Los Collados facilities in the region of Castilla y León in Spain.

In addition, Iberdrola Renewables has recently agreed to build 11 wind farm projects in the Spanish region of Catalonia, which would generate 489MW of power. Alstom will also supply the turbines for this project.

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