RENEWABLE energy heavyweight Vattenfall has said Scotland leads the way in the UK in terms of its attractiveness to windfarm developers as it announced plans for a big project in Argyllshire.
Vattenfall proposes to build a windfarm featuring around 26 turbines five miles south of Oban that it reckons would be capable of producing enough electricity to power around 117,500 UK homes.
The Swedish company has set out to win the support of locals for the Musdale development, which could have a big impact on the area. It is expected to feature turbines with a blade tip height of up to 200 metres.
Proposals to build onshore windfarms have run into opposition from locals in other areas of Scotland.
News of Vattenfall’s Musdale project comes amid mounting concern that Scotland has not enjoyed as much economic benefit from windfarm developments as was expected.
Vattenfall said it wanted to collaborate with people in the area of the proposed windfarm to allow them to influence its development. It held out the prospect that the windfarm could generate significant benefits for the area as well as helping Scotland to meet its targets for the reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions.
“Vattenfall wants to work with the local community and businesses to explore how we can create opportunities and benefits for the local area through community investment, skills development, jobs and employment,” said the company’s UK development director for onshore wind, Frank Elsworth.
He added: “Scotland is a frontrunner in onshore wind energy compared to the rest of the UK and is reaping the benefits for the environment, communities and businesses.”
Vattenfall has amassed a significant portfolio of windfarms in Scotland. This includes three that are operational and seven that are in either the development or construction phase.
A spokesperson for Vattenfall said Scotland has excellent wind resources but the main advantage comes from the level of support for onshore wind at political level, and more broadly.