The South Kyle Wind Farm in East Ayrshire and Galloway has been given the green light by the Scottish government, following a public local inquiry that was held at the end of 2015 following a planning application being submitted during 2013.
Developer Vattenfall welcomed the government’s decision, saying that now the company can move ahead with discussions with local communities about the possibilities of purchasing a share of the wind farm itself.
More than 150 local businesses have already registered an interest in the farm, with Vattenfall offering local communities a chance to acquire an interest of up to five per cent in the scheme. On top of this, the Swedish energy group will set up a community benefit fund of £5,000 per MW installed a year over the operational lifetime of South Kyle.
UK Head of Development for Onshore Wind, Guy Mortimer, commented: “Of course there is a long way to go before Vattenfall is able to construct and operate this wind farm, but if constructed, this will be a wind farm that we hope local people and businesses will take pride in.
“The Scottish government’s consent decision for this scheme is reassuringly robust. The wind farm proposal was scrutinised and carefully considered through a detailed public local inquiry in late 2015. As a result, this consent is a clear evidence-based decision that concludes South Kyle is an eminently acceptable proposal.”
Of course, this isn’t the only project that the Swedish company is currently involved in. It is also in the middle of talks with Peel Ports in Great Yarmouth about investing in the local port and locating its operations base for both Norfolk Boreas and Norfolk Vanguard there. It’s thought that investment in the port alone could see up to 150 highly skilled long-term wind farm technician jobs secured.
The proposal for Norfolk Vanguard, a 1.8GW offshore wind farm, was launched in March last year, while sister project Norfolk Boreas – also 1.8GW – was put forward at the start of 2017.
Scotland itself always appears to be in the news these days where renewable energy and wind farms are concerned. Research recently revealed by the Sunday Express suggested that Scotland could soon produce more wind energy than any other country anywhere in the world.
It was found that there are currently 2,683 wind turbines in operation, with an additional 282 under construction and planning permission in place for a further 2,202. If and when all these are up and running, Scotland will produce most wind energy per square metre than any other nation globally.
At the moment, Denmark is at the forefront but a halt has been put on new offshore farms in the country, so Scotland could soon be top of the class where this kind of renewable energy is concerned.
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