On 14 September Scottish & Southern Energy’s Clyde wind farm was officially opened by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond. Clyde is one of the largest single consented wind farms in Europe and represents SSE’s largest onshore wind project to date. It makes a significant contribution to SSE’s position as the largest generator of electricity from wind – 1600 MW – across the UK and Ireland, and supports its green and non-nuclear generation priorities.

The 152 turbines at Clyde wind farm are split into three sections with a total installed capacity of 350 MW. It is situated between Biggar and Moffat and occupies around 47 square kilometres. Construction started in April 2009, the location presenting many engineering challenges, including the need to construct around 105km of roads to enable access to the furthest reaches of the site. Associated infrastructure also included two substations, one operations building and a new radar installation in Cumbernauld.

The £500m project has contributed approximately £100m of contract value with companies in Scotland, including Wind Towers in Machrihanish which supplied the turbine towers, as well as associated indirect value to the supply chain.

SSE’s chief executive, Ian Marchant, said: “This marks … a major milestone for SSE in progressing its investment in renewable generation. Today will help us meet our target of halving the carbon intensity of the electricity we produce by 2020. Importantly, the site also provides a lasting legacy with a significant number of permanent jobs and a Community Investment Fund [£22 million] which can make a real difference to the local area.”

Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, said: “Scotland has astounding green energy potential and vast natural resources. Harnessing this through renewable energy offers the prospect of tens of thousands of new jobs and billions of pounds of investment in our economy – nothing less than the reindustrialisation of Scotland.”