South Scotland

Lowther Hills site 'could host 140 turbines'

Wind turbine Image copyright Thinkstock

Landowners and developers are examining the potential for a wind farm site hosting up to 140 turbines in the Lowther Hills in Dumfries and Galloway.

Buccleuch and 2020 Renewables said the project could "transform the area".

Preliminary talks have been held with other landowners, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish government.

It has been stressed that "no decision to proceed" has been taken and a range of options are being considered.

John Glen, chief executive of Buccleuch, said: "We have a structured approach to land management that involves looking at land use from an economic delivery and environment perspective and what it can deliver for the local, regional and sometimes national interest.

"It appears to us that this area of land could potentially deliver more both economically and environmentally and provide more benefit to local and regional communities.

"At present, we are undertaking feasibility work into a number of proposals and will discuss the results of our work with consultees and the communities."

He said the range of options for the site "under active consideration" included the potential to build up to 140 turbines.

'Tremendous potential'

"At that scale the project would be one of Scotland's largest wind farms, making a significant contribution to the Scottish government's renewable energy targets," he added.

Mr Glen said the wind farm could create 300 to 400 construction jobs over a four-year period with 20 to 30 operational jobs on completion.

Consultation is scheduled to begin soon with Wanlockhead and other local communities.

The proposed site is near the Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands Special Protection Area.

Alan Baker, managing director of 2020 Renewables, said: "We are still in the early stages of this process and continue to develop our thinking.

"However, it is apparent that the site in question has tremendous potential to deliver economic and environmental benefit on a very significant scale."

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