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SSE Renewables to build first subsidy-free wind farm

SSE Renewables to build first subsidy-free wind farm


Energy giant SSE Renewables is to build its first wind farm without the support of UK government subsidies.

The project is an 11-turbine extension to the company's existing 35-turbine 70MW Gordonbush onshore wind farm in Sutherland.

SSE Renewables said it would be one of the few onshore wind schemes to go-ahead since government support for onshore schemes ended after 2015 .

The capacity of the new extension will be 47MW.

Construction of the new turbines on a site about eight miles (12km) north west of Brora is due to start in March, with the first power from extension generated later this year.

The project has support on a "merchant basis", which is investment that comes through selling its output "competitively" into the energy market rather than having secured a long-term power purchase agreement, or a government-funded financial support mechanism, such as the UK's Contract for Difference.

SSE Renewables said merchant investments were only possible for a "limited number of the most attractive projects".

Jim Smith, managing director of SSE Renewables, said onshore renewable projects could still play an important part in helping the UK meet climate change targets.

He said: "Onshore wind is the cheapest form of low carbon generation and brings job and investment to rural communities.

"Yet despite the climate emergency, onshore wind construction is at the lowest it has been in a decade."

The Scottish government gave the go-ahead for the extension to Gordonbush in November last year.

The 35 turbines already installed at the site have been operational since 2012.

Source: BBC

Published: 02-02-2020

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