The controversial Coal Clough windfarm has officially been reopened after 18 months of work and £22.5m of investment, with the development now supporting 75 construction jobs.
Residents initially criticised construction plans due to the potential impact on the surrounding area, but the eight modern turbines were installed without issue and have replaced the original 24 structures built in 1992.
The importance of windfarms like this should not be underestimated, and I am delighted that Coal Clough will remain a key part of our company’s operations for many years to comeKenny Peberdy, ScottishPower
Representatives from ScottishPower Renewables met with leading community figures, council officials and contractors to unveil the redeveloped site, which is set to power an extra 3,500 homes every year.
Kenny Peberdy, ScottishPower Renewables’ Operations Managing Director, said: “Coal Clough was at the forefront of the green energy revolution in the UK when it first came on line in the early ‘90’s,
“Our recent investment ensures that this area will continue to play a role in providing clean electricity for the national grid for decades to come.
“Coal Clough has produced enough power to meet the electricity demands of just under 5000 homes every year since 1992, and the new project should meet the needs of over 8500 homes per year.
“The importance of windfarms like this should not be underestimated, and I am delighted that Coal Clough will remain a key part of our company’s operations for many years to come.”
On-shore wind is the most cost-effective and viable renewable energy source in the UK, and Coal Clough was one of the first commercial windfarms to be built anywhere in the UK.
The site is one of only a handful across the country that has been repowered, with its total generating capacity set to increase from 9.6 megawatts (MW) to 16 MW.
Data from the original windfarm shows that it generated over 400,000 Megawatt Hours (MWh) of electricity during its 21 year operational life.
The development will be managed by a full-time site supervisor, plus two technicians, and will also support a range of other services over its 25 year lifetime.
These will include electrical engineering and civil contractors to support site and road maintenance, specialist turbine technical resources, ScottishPower Renewables project management team resources and environmental/ecological monitoring resources.