WWF backs planned £1 billion Scottish wind power projects

The pioneering investment, led by onshore wind energy specialist Burcote Wind, should create around 600 jobs and generate enough power for more than 500,000 homes.

WWF Scotland director Dr Richard Dixon says, "Another company making a very large commitment to Scotland’s renewable energy industry is great news. With our huge natural resources and strong government targets, Scotland is fast becoming one of the best places in the world to come to design, manufacture and install renewable energy technologies."

Under the plans, which are yet to be agreed, Burcote Wind, based in Dunfermline, proposes to create 10 wind farms throughout Scotland. The wind farms could generate up to 800 MW of electricity and an annual output of 2.6-megawatt hours, which would power around 554,000 homes and prevent one million tonnes of carbon dioxide being generated by fossil fuel power.

The pipeline projects will create an overall investment of £1.08 billion and 110 permanent jobs, along with 475 construction positions. Sites at Benshinnie and Sandy Knowe, in Dumfries and Galloway; Creggan, in Argyll and Bute and Meikleton in Aberdeenshire are already subject to consultation, with plans due to be submitted during the next 18 months. The six other sites are being investigated, but have not yet been identified.

Burcote Wind will seek planning permission before seeking partners to inject the capital investment required to obtain, construct and connect the turbines. At every site the company plans to put £60million into community benefit funds that could help to pay for engineering and renewables study at training colleges and pay for other local causes.

Burcote Wind’s chairman, Graham Brown says it hopes the renewables projects will help boost Scotland’s industrial base and better equip the workforce.

"By providing vital investment in skills, these projects can help Scotland become a world leader in renewables technology in the years to come, " he adds.

Scotland has a quarter of Europe’s wind resources and it would be mad not to harness the power, says Mr Brown. The industry has strong political support and the country has some of the highest renewals targets in the world.

Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, Niall Stuart, adds, "This is another fantastic example of a home-grown company bringing much needed jobs and investment to Scotland through developing renewable energy projects.