The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Europe's Largest Onshore Wind Farm Is Switched on in Scotland

Today, the final phase of Europe's largest onshore wind farm is being turned on in Scotland. The 322-megawatt (MW), 140-turbine Whitelee wind farm was built by ScottishPower Renewables, which is part of the Spanish power business Iberdrola.

In Spain and internationally, the Iberdrola Group, is the world’s largest developer of wind power, with nearly 9700 MW of installed capacity. The wind farm uses Siemens 2.3-MW machines.

Positioned 370 meters (1200 feet) above sea level, 15 kilometers (9 miles) outside of Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, the new wind farm has over half a million people living within a 30-km radius of it. It’s one of the first large-scale wind farms to be constructed close to a large population center. The first phase of the wind farm started feeding power into the grid in January 2008.

Potentially, the wind farm could be extended to a massive 600 MW: this became more likely today when a proposal to extend the existing scheme by another 130 MW was been approved by the Scottish Government, thus powering an additional 70,000 homes.

But the company is also carrying out scoping work on a potential second extension, which could add a further 140 MW. It is anticipated that an official planning application will be submitted for this later in the summer.

At the ceremonial switch-on today, Iberdrola and ScottishPower Chairman Ignacio Galán was joined today by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond. The company considers Scotland and the UK core markets in its current and future growth plans.

“Whitelee is a milestone in the history of Scotland, not only representing the largest wind farm in Europe but also one of the largest in the world," Galán said.

The Scottish government has a target of generating 31% of Scotland's electricity demand from renewable sources by 2011 and 50% by 2020. It’s an ambitious target, and the majority of this is likely to come from wind power.

“Our potential for electricity generation from renewables is up to 60 gigawatts — more than ten times our peak demand. We have launched the world’s greatest single prize for innovation in marine energy, the £10 million Saltire Prize; we are developing and applying clean fossil fuel technology; we have an unrivalled competitive advantage in carbon capture and storage; we have approved Siadar, one of the largest wave energy projects on the planet; as well as developing and consenting hydro and biomass projects. Harnessing all these opportunities has the potential to create more than 16,000 jobs in Scotland over the next decade," Salmond said.

ScottishPower Renewables’ Keith Anderson said he believed further onshore wind farms would follow in the United Kingdom, but also added that said more work was needed on infrastructure. Improved grid connections are key in the UK, as in so many other parts of the world.

Anderson told reporters, "We're currently in conversations with the Crown Estate and the Scottish government about the development of an offshore wind farm off the west coast of Scotland, which could be anything up to 1800 MW, at least five or six times the size of Whitelee."

At the end of April, ScottishPower Renewables announced that Whitelee was set to be completed ahead of schedule.

“To complete Europe’s largest on-shore wind farm ahead of schedule is a major achievement. A wind farm on this scale has never been attempted before, and every one of the 500 people who have worked on the project deserves huge credit," ScottishPower director Keith Anderson said.

“Our project management team and our contractors, Morrison Balfour Kilpatrick, have developed techniques and a level of expertise that allows us to work effectively in difficult terrain and under testing conditions, and this understanding has helped to keep the project firmly on track," saidn Anderson.

As well as the physical construction of the turbines, the £300 million (US $466 million) project has also seen the creation of a 90 km "floating" road network to protect the underlying peatland and the connection of over 970 km of cables to link the turbines to the national grid. A state-of-the-art visitor center is also in the process of being completed.

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now


wind energy

Interior Plans November Auction for Offshore New Jersey Wind Energy Rights

Wayne Barber U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper...

A Case Study in Energy-Transition Momentum

Tim King South Australia is clearly at the forefront of the global energy transition as it establishes a fast-moving model oth...

US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...

Sage Grouse Removed as Threat to Biggest Wind Farm in U.S.

Christopher Martin, Bloomberg Billionaire Phil Anschutz’s plans to build a $5 billion wind farm in southeast Wyoming will no longer be stymied by t...


Fronius Shifting the Limits in Solar-Plus: It’s not just about products, it’s about solutions.

Fronius USA, who just recently launched the all-new Fronius SnapINverter line this past...

IREC Announces Changes in Regulatory Team

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), a not-for-profit organization which for...

IREC Awarded New Funding to Advance Digital Credentials

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) proudly announces funding for an innovat...

$100 Discount on 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience Workhop

Upcoming 5-day Workshops: Nov. 7 - 11 Feb. 6 - 10


NY Gov. Cuomo Pledges to Create Carbon Market use Solar, Wind to reduce Climate Change

This week former Vice President Al Gore joined with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to sign the Under 2 MOU, a directi...
clean energy

In Clean Energy, The Truth Matters

A group of about 20 protesters gathered outside the Sheraton in Burlington, Vt., early on Oct. 8 as attendees arrived...

Industry Focus: Cleantech: 1366 Technologies joins Solarcity in New York

1366 is set to build a factory just up the road (OK, it is a long road – NYS Thruway) from Solarcity.  The...



Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Doing Business in Europe – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

There is now 128.8 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU (appro...

JuiceBox Energy Certified Installer Class

JuiceBox Energy is rapidly building out its national certified installer...

Wind Operator Congress Europe

The UK’s only business-focused O&M event for the European wind...


Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now