Opened 1st July 2014
Scottish Power Renewables officially opened the 136 megawatt (MW) Harestanes Windfarm near Dumfries, one of Scotland’s largest onshore windfarms. The £160 million project has supported more than 150 jobs over the past two years, 60 directly from the local community. The windfarm will produce enough renewable energy to meet the average electricity demands of over 73,000 homes* per year.
The full site covers an area of 20 km2 in the Forest of Ae, which is managed by Forestry Commission Scot-land. As well as installing 68 wind turbines, construction work has also included the development of new operations and maintenance building, and the creation of 11km of new tracks and paths which will be opened to members of the public for recreational use. Mountain bikers have also benefited, with a new 4km trail being built on the famous 7stanes cycle route.
Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing said: “Projects like this provide considerable benefits to reducing our carbon emissions and play an important part in helping Scotland reach its target of 100 per cent of electricity demand generated from renewables as well as contributing to sustainable economic growth, investment and jobs.
“I am particularly pleased that this development may provide opportunities to the young people who are in Dumfries and Galloway college on course to complete their turbine technician training, and in turn se-cure jobs.
“The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places, and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of renewables projects should reflect the scale and character of the landscape, as well as being considered environmentally acceptable.”
Bill Meadows, Forestry Commission Scotland’s district manager for Dumfries and the Borders said:
“We are very keen that the National Forest Estate makes a significant contribution to helping the Scottish Government’s drive to produce renewable energy.
“Harestanes is a great example of how public land can be used successfully to generate clean energy which help reduce the impacts of climate change.
“It has been a positive project and we are pleased that local recreation facilities have been developed for the community too. All this has been achieved whilst we continue to operate a large timber producing forest.”