South Scotland

Lowther Hills wind farm bid submitted

Wind farm Image copyright Buccleuch/2020 Renewables

A formal application has been submitted to the Scottish government for a 35-turbine wind farm in the Lowther Hills.

The North Lowther Energy Initiative (NLEI) is a partnership between Buccleuch and 2020 Renewables.

It would see the turbines constructed east of Sanquhar and north west of Wanlockhead.

Developers said it could produce enough energy to meet the needs of 78,000 homes and create seven local and 33 regional jobs.

John Glen, chief executive of Buccleuch, said: "The plans for North Lowther are part of a wider renewable energy and land use strategy that can deliver very significant social, economic and environmental benefits for the region.

"Should this application be approved, it would open up tremendous potential for the area, particularly in conjunction with our current proposals for a pumped storage hydro scheme, which has already received planning consent.

"Together, these projects would involve more than 300 local jobs and secure and prolong job creation in the area."

He said public feedback had been used to "enhance the design" of the project.

Alan Baker, managing director of 2020 Renewables, said: "This project has the potential to provide clean energy for more than 78,000 homes across the region, assisting the targets set nationally on renewable energy generation.

"However, aside from generating electricity, there is scope for widespread habitat enhancement which could be tailored to benefit birds, particularly raptors and waders."

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