ScottishPower Renewables (ScottishPower) has announced that turbine construction at Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow is set to be completed ahead of schedule in the next few weeks. The company has now constructed 126 turbines and erected the base units of the final 14. All 140 turbines are now planned to be completed in the next few weeks, producing up to 322 megawatt (MW) of electricity which is enough to power over 180,000 homes.

Once all turbine construction is completed the company plans to carry out remedial work on the 90 kilometers road network that they have constructed as part of the project, complete the necessary site reinstatement works and finishes the GBP2 million state-of-the-art visitor centers. The site will then be opened to the public later in the summer, making it one of Scotland’s largest eco-tourist attractions.

The site at Whitelee was first identified by ScottishPower a decade ago, and planning consent was awarded in 2006. In order to achieve planning permission, the company constructed a new radar station for Glasgow Airport following concerns about potential interference. During this period, the company also outlined its habitat management plan for the site. In total the site has 25 square kilometers of actively managed habitat to promote blanket bog and moorland regeneration, improving conditions for Black Grouse, Red Grouse, wading birds and upland wildlife.

The visitor centre will include an exhibition area explaining the construction of the wind farm and a unique renewable energy education centre which will be operated by specially trained staff. As part of the company’s plans to make the site fully accessible, tours of the wind farm will also be available for visitors, and plans are being made to introduce eco-friendly buses powered by electricity generated from the site.

Keith Anderson, director of ScottishPower, said: “We are delighted that construction is ahead of schedule, and believe this is down to the experience we have gained from building previous large-scale wind projects such as Black Law, especially understanding how to effectively manage the programme of work and key project relationships.

“Our project management team and our contractors, Morrison Balfour Kilpatrick, have developed techniques and a level of expertise that allows us to work effectively in difficult terrain and under testing conditions, and this understanding has helped to keep the project firmly on track.