Gust of wind turbines hit East Renfrewshire

SFGS Windfarm
SFGS Windfarm

EAST Renfrewshire is set to be home to another windfarm after a site near Newton Mearns was purchased by a power company.

ScottishPower renewables have vowed to spend £18 million to develop Middleton wind farm, after acquiring the site from Germany’s RWE npower in a multi-million-pound deal.

Planning consent was granted for a six turbine site by East Renfrewshire council in 2009, however building work stalled.

Just four miles from Europe’s largest windfarm at Whitelee , which is also owned by ScottishPower, the organisation could soon have a total of 225 turbines in the local area.

Middleton is expected to be fully operational as soon as November next year, with work starting in April.

As many as 40 jobs could be created as a result of construction.

Simon Christian, UK managing director of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Middleton wind farm is well located and will be an excellent addition to our portfolio of onshore wind projects.

“It will contribute a valuable amount of clean, green energy towards Scotland’s carbon reduction targets”.

Middleton, located three miles south west of Newton Mearns near the A77, will generate up to 15 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to provide power to up to 8400 homes.

This is despite nearby Whitelee – which is currently in the process of expansion – receiving £300,000 in April 2011 to switch off their turbines because the Scottish grid network could not absorb all the energy being produced.

This has not deterred developers of a further local site, in Uplawmoor from pushing ahead with plans for three 15-metre high wind turbines.

The turbines have been given the go-ahead by the Scottish Government despite being originally rejected by East Renfrewshire council.

An application for a 66 metre high turbine on the same site has also been submitted.

According to the planning application, the development would require access tracks from public roads combined with an on-site control unit and a meter house, all of which has caused outrage among local residents.