ScottishPower Renewables Ltd., a unit of Iberdrola SA, started building a 300 million-pound ($468.5 million) wind farm in Scotland.
Construction work is officially underway at the £300 million Kilgallioch Windfarm, located 5 kilometres south of Barrhill, South Ayrshire and 5 kilometres north east of New Luce, Dumfries and Galloway.
ScottishPower Renewables has started constructing the 55km of tracks (as well as upgrading 14km of existing forest track) across the site that will link the 96 turbines on the project. When fully operational in 2017, Kilgallioch will have a capacity of 239 megawatts (MW), generating enough green electricity to power the equivalent of 130,000 households per year, and becoming the UK’s third largest onshore wind farm.
Over the anticipated 25 year lifespan of the project, just under £30 million will be made available to support local projects as part of the community benefit fund for the windfarm. ScottishPower Renewables is already working with local community groups in relation to the fund. Over 250 jobs will also be supported by the windfarm during construction
Kilgallioch windfarm covers an area of 32km2 and lies within both South Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway Council boundaries. The first turbine deliveries are expected to begin in February 2016, with first power production due in November 2016, followed by full operation of the site in the first half of 2017.
Stuart Mason, Construction Director at ScottishPower Renewables said: “Kilgallioch is a major renewable energy development and a significant construction project. As well as making an important contribution to Scotland’s carbon reduction targets, tens of millions of pounds will go towards supporting community projects in the vicinity of the windfarm.
“This will be ScottishPower Renewables’ second largest windfarm, and the third largest overall in the UK. We currently have more than 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of installed onshore wind capacity in the UK, and Kilgallioch will help us on our way to achieving a 2 GW milestone – enough to power over 1 million homes. “
ScottishPower Renewables first started consultation on Kilgallioch in 2008 before submitting a planning application to the Scottish Government in March 2010.
Job opportunities will be created across a range of tasks including; turbine service and maintenance, waste management, grounds and roads maintenance, and the servicing and maintenance of operational buildings. The turbines for the project are being supplied by Gamesa, and the main construction contractor is Nortshtone Ltd (Farrans). A “meet the developer day” was held at Newton Stewart on 17th June 2015, where local businesses met with SPR and Farrans with a view to exploring opportunities in connection with construction of the windfarm.
To further encourage local employment opportunities in renewable energy for people living in the South West of Scotland, ScottishPower Renewables supported The Energy Skills Partnership’s initiative to develop an industry recognised Wind Turbine Technician training course in both Dumfries & Galloway and Ayr colleges. ScottishPower Renewables continues to offer support by donating turbine components and providing educational site visits for students.