SSE pulls the plug on two onshore Highland wind farms

Scottish and Southern EnergyPerth-based utility company SSE has withdrawn its planning applications for two Scottish wind farm projects on land due to ‘financial reasons.’

The firm had submitted planning applications to the Scottish government to build the 81 megawatt (MW) Dalnessie wind farm in Sutherland and for an extension to its 36 MW Fairburn wind farm in Ross-shire.

“SSE continues to have a good pipeline of very strong onshore renewable developments across Scotland,” said Colin Nicol, SSE’s Director of Onshore Renewables, said.

“Each project is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and the decision to end Dalnessie and Fairburn Extension means that we can redirect resource onto the best projects in our portfolio.”

Britain has ambitious plans to boost production of renewable power to help it meet legally binding targets to reduce carbon emissions and to replace ageing nuclear reactors and polluting coal-fired power plants, up to a fifth of which face retirement this decade.

The British government cut proposed subsidies to support the development of onshore wind late last year, however, while boosting support for offshore wind.

Onshore wind farms often have come under fire from local residents for obstructing views and making too much noise and have struggled to get planning approval.

A number of companies have recently scaled back plans to build both offshore and onshore wind capacity in Britain.

A consortium of Denmark’s Dong Energy, Germany’s E.ON and Abu Dhabi state-owned energy investor Masdar decided to scrap a project to expand the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm. RWE and Iberdrola-owned Scottish Power have also scrapped or scaled back huge offshore wind farm projects, citing the costs involved in developing deepwater sites.

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