ScottishPower has been given the go-ahead by the Scottish Executive to build a 143 MW, 62 turbine wind farm in South Lanarkshire. The Black Law project, expected to cost £130 million, is the largest onshore wind farm approved in the UK to date. The site is a disused open-cast mine near the village of Forth, some 20 miles west of Edinburgh. The company lodged its application in spring 2002; meantime it has been attempting to resolve concerns by Edinburgh Airport about the effect the turbines might have on its radar. ScottishPower says construction will start soon on around 97 MW -- and on the rest when outstanding radar planning conditions are agreed with the airport. Work on the wind farm will proceed alongside a habitat management scheme, agreed with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Scottish Natural Heritage. This aims to enhance the biodiversity of the location and involves restoring areas of conifer plantation to grassland and blanket bog and creating shallow wetlands and other habitats for farmland birds, bats, badgers, long-eared owls and black grouse. The wind farm is expected to start producing power in spring 2005.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol