ScottishPower Renewables is to expand the capacity of its Whitelee wind farm by 217 megawatts (MW) to 539 megawatts, cementing its position as the largest wind farm in Europe.
Using Alstom technology, the new capacity is slated to come on stream in 2012. The project will use 69 Alstom ECO 100 wind turbines with a 3 MW capacity and six ECO 74 turbines with 1.67 MW capacity each.
Whitelee windfarm is located south of Glasgow and currently has installed capacity of 322 megawatts (MW). It is one of the world’s flagship windf arms and also houses Scotland’s first renewable energy learning centre.
ScottishPower Renewables is a subsidiary of Spain-based Iberdrola Renovables, which has operations in 23 countries and is the world leader in its sector by both installed capacity (more than 11,400 MW at the end of the first half of 2010) and output (close to 13,000 million kWh in the first half of 2010).
The expansion of Whitelee is part of the agreement with Alstom to install 250 of its wind turbines in nine of Iberdrola Renovables’ facilities in Spain and the UK with a combined capacity of 500 MW.
The UK, along with the US, will be the key market for Iberdrola Renovables in the coming years, with a particular focus on offshore wind energy projects.
Iberdrola Renovables plans to invest Eur9 billion over the 2010-2012 period to bolster its position as the global leader in wind power and to drive international expansion, focusing on more profitable markets. The company’s growth in this three-year period will come mainly from the US, where it will invest Eur4.9 billion. It will invest Eur1.9 billion in the UK, Spain will receive Eur1 billion and it has earmarked Eur1.2 billion for the rest of the world. The goal is to accumulate more than 16,000 megawatts (MW) in installed capacity by 2012.