ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) has outlined plans to set up an advanced control center for monitoring renewable energy at Whitelee Windfarm, following East Ayrshire Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the new £1m development.

When completed, the proposed facility will monitor the operations at around 30 operational SPR windfarms across the UK, consisting of about 900 wind turbines in total.

Commenting on the development, ScottishPower Renewables Control Centre manager Mark Gailey said the new control system will enable the company to closely supervise all of its sites, optimizing performance, monitoring localized wind speeds and planning maintenance.

"As we expand in to offshore wind and wave and tidal power as well, it is important that we have the ability to diversify our control operations to monitor these projects as well. The new facility at Whitelee will give us the scope to do just that," added Gailey.

The control center will feature SPR’s purpose-designed weather monitoring systems that were developed in collaboration with the Met Office.

SPR noted that the system allows controllers to quickly evaluate which weather elements are affecting, or are likely to affect individual wind farms.

The control centre is expected to become operational by early 2014.