Scottish first minister switches on windfarm

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Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond has switched on Europe's largest onshore windfarm.

The Whitelee project consists of 140 wind turbines at Eaglesham Moor, east Renfrewshire, which are expected to generate 322MW of electricity.

At maximum capacity the windfarm will generate enough electricity to power 180,000 homes and the project should displace up to 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

Mr Salmond announced that an expansion of the windfarm has already been approved, which would add another 150MW – the equivalent of power for an extra 70,000 homes – and a further 140MW expansion is being considered by ministers.

"Whitelee in its current form is already flying the flag for onshore wind power in Europe. The planned extension, which I am delighted to announce today, will enable the windfarm to harness its comparative and competitive advantage in wind generated energy within Europe," Mr Salmond said.

Earlier this month, the world's biggest offshore windfarm was approved for construction in the Thames Estuary.

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