This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Scotland's most powerful windfarm opened
Scotland's newest and most powerful windfarm was today opened by Deputy Enterprise Minister Allan Wilson, who predicted a bright a future for the industry.
Rothes Windfarm, at Cairn Uish near Elgin is the first windfarm consented by Scottish Ministers under the devolved powers of section 36 of the Electricity Act. It will provide enough power to meet around 29 per cent of Moray's total demand for electricity, the equivalent to the average annual consumption of 32,000 households.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Wilson said:
"This is a significant day for the renewable energy industry in Scotland. The opening of Rothes windfarm is a real milestone - it is the largest in Scotland and will make a huge contribution towards meeting our target of ensuring 40 per cent of the electricity generated in this country comes from renewables sources by 2020.
"Renewable energy - and wind energy in particular - is a rapidly developing sector that will play a crucial role in Scotland's future. More wind energy will mean less harmful emissions that cause global warming, more jobs for Scots and ensure this country has a secure energy supply for generations to come.
"Rothes windfarm provides real evidence of these benefits. It is estimated this project alone will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 2 million tonnes over 25 years. It could also cut sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 30,000 tonnes. Both are contributors to acid rain.
"But Rothes windfarm has also provided jobs as well as environmental benefits. Around 50 people, from Scottish firms such as Balfour Kilpatrick and Morrison Construction Services were involved in the construction phase. This underlines one of our key messages - that renewables are good for the environment and our economy.
"It is also important to remember that our renewable energy policy is not just based on harnessing wind energy. The Executive is also determined to ensure we take full advantage of other clean, renewable sources of energy, such as tidal, biomass, hydrogen and solar. In the future, I hope we can exploit the power of the sea and the opportunities of biomass and hydrogen in the same way Rothes windfarm will capitalise on the power of the wind."
Rothes windfarm is located in Morayshire on the rounded hill top of Cairn Uish in a hilly area varying in land use between open moorland and broad stretches of forestry plantation, 13km south-south-west of Elgin and 10km due west of Rothes, at an altitude of 300-360 metres. An application under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for consent to construct and operate Rothes windfarm was made by Fred Olsen Renewables Limited in September 2001. Consent was granted by Scottish Ministers in January 2003. Rothes was the first windfarm to receive consent under the devolved powers of section 36.
As lead consultants, Natural Power Limited led on the development of the windfarm, providing Fred Olsen Ltd with services including site selection; wind engineering; site design; and management of the overall developmental process. Rothes Windfarm Limited (a Fred Olsen Renewables Ltd related company) owns, operates and maintains the windfarm.
Rothes windfarm was completed and became operational on 28 March 2005. It consists of 22 turbines (not exceeding 100 metres in height) with a total generation capacity of 50.6 MW. This offers the capacity to generate 155 million kWh per year - approximately 10% of the renewables generation needed to meet our 2010 18% target. In addition, the clean electricity supplied by the windfarm is estimated to meet 29% of Moray's total demand. It is estimated that the windfarm will save 2.3 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (primary cause of climate change), 23,400 tonnes of Sulphur Dioxide and 7,300 tonnes of Nitrogen Oxides. Sulphar Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides contribute towards acid rain.