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United Kingdom

Green light for Europe's largest wind farm in Scotland

Scottish ministers have given the green light to Europe's largest wind power development. The 456 MW Clyde wind farm between Biggar and Moffat in South Lanarkshire is being developed by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) subsidiary Airtricity and is expected to cost £600 million. The consent follows a public inquiry into the project and is conditional on Airtricity resolving air traffic control radar issues with NATS En Route, the UK air traffic manager. The consent brings SSE's total onshore wind capacity -- either operating, under construction or consented -- to 1500 MW. The 152-turbine project will be built in two phases. Work on the first phase is to begin later this financial year with first commissioning slated for 2010. Both phases are to be complete by 2011. SSE chief executive Ian Marchant comments: "It is another example of the value of the Airtricity portfolio of renewable energy projects which we acquired earlier this year and provides us with another major investment opportunity." Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, adds that the Clyde consent makes it "virtually certain" that Scotland will meet its 2011 target of 31% of electricity from renewables ahead of schedule.

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