Since receiving planning consent in June 2008, ScottishPower Renewables has been carrying out a detailed planning exercise to ensure the various aspects of the project can be implemented in tandem.
The full site covers an area of 24 km2 and the initial phase of construction will involve laying 65 km of roads and tracks on the site to allow access for the delivery of the 60 wind turbines. Engineers will also begin the process of laying hundreds of kilometers of cables that will eventually connect the turbines to the electricity grid.
Keith Anderson, Managing Director at ScottishPower Renewables, said: "We are delighted to have officially started this major project, which will make a significant contribution towards Scotland’s carbon reduction targets. As the largest developer and generator of onshore wind power in the UK, ScottishPower Renewables has gained considerable experience in delivering large renewable energy projects over the last decade, including Europe’s largest onshore windfarm at Whitelee.
"Renewable energy is growing sector that requires a skilled workforce. Scotland has been leading the way in delivering major green energy projects and has a well established resource of skilled workers. This project alone will require a workforce of over 200 and, with many other major projects in the pipeline, the renewable energy sector in Scotland will continue to grow and provide employment opportunities."
Energy Minister, Jim Mather MSP, said: "This is a welcome jobs boost that again highlights the massive potential of Scotland’s renewables sector. The Scottish Government’s Climate Change Act has the most ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction target in the world and capitalising on the vast economic potential that green technologies present will help us enormously to reach that target.
"Scotland has won the natural lottery twice – once with oil and gas and again with our massive renewable energy potential. We have a clear competitive advantage with a quarter of Europe’s wind energy potential as well as years of technological expertise through our vibrant energy industry. I am determined that that we capitalise on these resources which is why we have approved 25 renewable energy projects since May 2007."
Notes to Editors:
ScottishPower Renewables is part of Iberdrola Renovables, the largest wind energy company in the world* with an installed capacity of over 10,000 MW at the end of June 2009, and a pipeline of 56,622 MW. ScottishPower Renewables had 790 MW of installed capacity at the end of June 2009, a 48.8% increase on the previous year, and a pipeline of 5,018 MW.
* New Energy Finance Media Information: Simon McMillan