Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), the UK’s largest generator of renewable energy, has announced two new developments which will increase its wind energy capacity by 31MW. The company has completed the acquisition of an 11 MW wind farm development at Spurness, on the Orkney Islands, and has been granted permission for the development of a 20 MW wind farm at Artfield Fell in Wigtownshire.Perth, Scotland – February 18, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Consent for the Artfield Fell site was granted by Dumfries and Galloway Council. The £15 million (US$23 million) wind farm will have 15 turbines and construction work will start within the next few months. It should begin generating electricity in the first half of 2005. “The Scottish Executive’s decision last year to grant consent for our 130 MW wind farm at Hadyard Hill was a significant milestone in our programme of investment in renewable energy,” Ian Marchant, Chief Executive of SSE said. “I am pleased that it has been followed so swiftly by this additional consent at Artfield Fell and we are grateful for the co-operation of the various planning authorities. We are optimistic that the additional consents we are seeking will be granted during the next few months.” The Spurness wind farm was purchased from Spurness Wind Energy. The £8.3 million (US$15.6 million) farm is due to have its first three turbines fully operational by the end of 2004 and consent is in place for a fourth turbine to be added subsequently. When complete, the wind farm will produce enough electricity to power 6,500 homes. NEG Micon has been appointed to build the site and SSE will own and operate it. “Spurness is another useful acquisition for SSE, taking forward our plans to build up our wind energy portfolio,” Marchant said. “It is also an illustration of our belief that we can further strengthen our generation portfolio through acquisition as well as development. We will continue to assess opportunities like this that may arise in the future.” Once initial commissioning at Spurness is complete, the acquisition will mean SSE’s operational wind energy capacity will total 21 MW by the end of 2004, adding to the wind farm at Tangy in Argyll. Last year, SSE announced it has received consent to build one of the UK’s largest on-shore wind farm developments at Hadyard Hill in south Ayrshire, which will have a capacity of 130 MW. In addition to these, SSE has applications with the relevant planning authorities for consents to build two additional wind farms and this amounts to some 120 MW and the Scottish Executive is also considering SSE’s application to develop a 100 MW hydro-electric scheme at Glendoe, near Loch Ness.