Scottish Power plans to extend its Dumfries wind farm

scottishpower-renewablesScottishPower Renewables has submitted a planning application for a 7-turbine extension to its Harestanes Windfam in the Forest of Ae near Dumfries.

The company recently ompleted construction of 68 turbines as part of the original site, and achieved first electricity generation at the end of September – three months ahead of schedule.

The new planning application comes as 18 students at nearby Dumfries and Galloway College started a new course supported by ScottishPower Renewables that will allow them to gain industry recognised qualifications and help them on their way to becoming wind turbine technicians. As well as providing funding and support for the course, SPR has also donated a range of kit for students to work on, including an anemometer (used to measure wind speeds), a generator and transformer.

For more than two years Scottish Power Renewables has been part of a working group seeking to develop an industry recognised Wind Turbine Technician training course in both Dumfries and Galloway and Ayr colleges. A similar course launched at Ayr College earlier this year.

The course consists of basic engineering skills as well as the underpinning knowledge element of the Turbine Technician Modern Apprenticeship (MA). The course consists of a City and Guilds Course in Wind Turbine Operation and Maintenance and an SVQ in Performing Engineering Operations. This approach will enable the wind industry to recruit turbine technicians quicker due to the traditional four-year college release programme being shortened into an 18 month full time course.

Simon Christian, UK Managing Director, ScottishPower Renewables, said: “The renewable energy industry in Scotland continually needs qualified technicians who can help to maintain wind turbines. We have been working hard to ensure that colleges can offer courses that deliver exactly what the industry needs in terms of skills, which in turn helps participants get employed in the industry on completing their course.

“We are delighted to help both Dumfries and Galloway College and Ayr College develop their Turbine Technician course plans. The South West of Scotland is a key area of investment for Scottish Power Renewables. We have already developed a number of major windfarm projects in the area, such as the Harestanes development, and we anticipate that our future projects in the area will need many more technicians and engineers in the years ahead.

“The significant investment that is happening in renewable energy ensures that opportunities for employment and skills development in the sector is set to keep increasing, and we want to help local communities makes the most of these employment opportunities.”

Carol Turnbull, Principal at Dumfries and Galloway College, said “This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when industry, colleges and sector representatives work together.”

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