Whitelee Onshore Wind Farm, located 20 minutes from the center of Glasgow, has been producing clean, renewable energy in the heart of Scotland since 2008. With 215 wind turbines and 539 megawatts installed, it is the largest onshore wind farm in the UK, distinguished for its excellent management and care of the environment.
Whitelee, with 215 wind turbines in operation and 539 megawatts installed, is the largest onshore wind farm in the United Kingdom and was for a period the largest in all of Europe. Located in a privileged environment in Eaglesham Moor, just 15 kilometers from Glasgow, it became one of the first large-scale wind farms developed near a population center after its inauguration.
The development of the Whitelee wind farm – owned by ScottishPower Renewables, a company of the Iberdrola Group – began in 2000, requesting permission for its construction in 2002 and obtaining approval in 2006, beginning the works. Whitelee was officially opened to the public in May 2009, however it had already been supplying power to the electricity grid since January 2008 with the first phase of the wind farm.
Since that moment the park has undergone two expansion phases External link, opens in new window, reaching its current size and installed power in 2012: with 140 Siemens turbines and 75 Alstom turbines.
In 2015, a new operations center was inaugurated External link, opens in new window. at the Whitelee wind farm, from which ScottishPower Renewables’ more than 30 wind farm developments, consisting of more than 900 wind turbines, would be remotely monitored.
Green Hydrogen from Whitelee
Within Iberdrola’s efforts focused on leading the energy transition, the company is also positioning itself in the United Kingdom in the area of green hydrogen. Thus, one of our main projects is to install a green hydrogen plant in Whitelee Park, with the capacity to generate 3,000 tonnes of H? per year from onshore wind energy and supply enough emission-free hydrogen to power up to 550 one-way buses. and return daily between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
This project has the support of the British Government, which has allocated more than €11 million (£9.4 million) to its construction from the energy innovation portfolio of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). its acronym in English).
Whitelee Visitor Centre
As well as generating clean, renewable energy for hundreds of thousands of homes in Scotland, Whitelee wind farm plays an active role in generating value for the community in which it is located, between the counties of East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire, in the south-west of the country. As such, its privileged natural environment receives an estimated 250,000 visitors a year.
Whitelee claims to be a great destination for family and active tourism in the region, with over 130 kilometres of trails to explore – on foot, by bike or on horseback – and free entry to the Whitelee Wind Farm Visitor Centre External link, opens in new window.. Opened in 2009 and managed by the Glasgow Science Centre, the centre offers an informative and interactive insight into the world of renewable energy. It also gives visitors the chance to get up close to the impressive turbines and learn more about the surrounding area with guided bus tours.
A park with recognised environmental excellence
Whitelee Wind Farm has been awarded the Green Flag Award three years in a row External link, opens in new window. for the work it carries out through its Whitelee Countryside Ranger Service, which looks after the habitats of native bird species and the restoration of natural peatlands. It is the only facility of its kind in the world with this international award, which recognises good management of parks, gardens and other green spaces that meet the needs of the communities they serve.
Barry Carruthers, head of onshore wind at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Whitelee is not only an essential part of the UK’s energy transition to a clean energy future, it is also a much-loved green space.
Iberdrola, world leader in renewable energies
At Iberdrola, we decided to commit to renewable energies more than two decades ago as a fundamental pillar on which to build our safe, clean and competitive business model. Thanks to this vision, we are today world leaders in renewable energies, reaching 41,246 MW of renewables in operation by the end of the first half of 2023.
This commitment is reflected in our record investment plan of €47 billion in the period 2023-2025, of which we will allocate 17,000 million euros to the renewables business. With these investments, we will increase our installed renewable capacity by 12,100 MW to 52,000 MW by 2025 —6,300 MW of photovoltaic, 3,100 MW of onshore wind, 1,800 MW of offshore, 700 MW of batteries and 200 MW of hydro.