Wind farm sails past milestone

A wind farm owned by Scottish and Southern Energy has become the first in the UK to generate over 100 megawatts of electricity.

Hadyard Hill wind farm in South Ayrshire will eventually generate 120MW from 52 turbines – enough to power 80,000 homes, or a city the size of York.

In 2005, the UK became one of only eight countries in the world to install 1,000MW of wind capacity. But this contribution is still dwarfed by traditional power stations. The largest power plant in the country is Drax which generates 4,000MW or seven per cent of the electricity consumed in the UK. It is coal-fired.

Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, said: “It is clearly to the UK’s advantage that it should minimise its dependence on depleting fossil fuels and maximise its exploitation of indigenous sources of energy, particularly renewables.

“Hadyard Hill demonstrates that wind farms can make a meaningful contribution to meeting the UK’s energy needs.”

Marcus Rand, the chief executive of the British Wind Energy Association, added: “With 171MW operational since January and a total of 665MW due to be built this year, onshore wind is now firmly established as an essential part of the UK’s energy mix.

“Moving forward, BWEA research published last month demonstrates that onshore wind will continue to lead the UK’s renewable energy developments, by delivering close to five per cent of the UK’s electricity supply by 2010.”

Jess McCabe

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