A WIND farm has been hailed as a “national success story” a decade on from its official opening.

ScottishPower Renewables’s Whitelee wind farm on Eaglesham Moor south of Glasgow, is the largest onshore wind project in the UK. It was developed to significantly boost the number of homes in Scotland powered by renewable energy.

Whitelee began generating electricity in January 2008 and was officially connected to the National Grid in May 2009. A report published today looks at its economic, environmental and social benefits. It notes that the wind farm has generated enough clean, green energy to provide almost 90% of total annual household electricity consumed by Scottish households and businesses. It also highlights that the wind farm is expected to provide a boost to the UK economy of more than £1 billion, more than £790 million of that in Scotland. Whitelee is found to have supported more than 4000 jobs during its peak years of construction while sustaining around 600 jobs each year through its operation and maintenance. Enough C02 is also saved by the wind farm, the report says, that it is the equivalent of offsetting two days worth of domestic flights to and from Gatwick Airport.

Lindsay McQuade, of ScottishPower Renewables said: “Since the passing of the Climate Change Act in 2008, a number of progressive policy measures have been put in place that has enabled Scotland to become coal-free.

“Working with industry and government, the same approach is now needed to ensure we can continue to invest in much-needed renewable generation and thereby achieve this objective, and support action to tackle the climate emergency facing us. Whitelee is a great example of what effective policy can deliver.

“It’s a national success story. Every year it produces the equivalent clean energy to power each and every electric vehicle currently in the UK, preventing more than five million tonnes of carbon emissions had this energy come from fossil fuels.”