Whitelee Wind Farm

Whitelee Wind Farm, Scotland

This morning, I cycled up to visit Whitelee Wind Farm, near Eaglesham, south of Glasgow. This is Europe’s largest wind farm with a complement of 140 turbines but with a further 75 turbines to be added. When the extended capacity is added Whitelee will have a generating capacity of 539 Megawatts which will be sufficient to power over 300,000 homes. However, at time of my visit not a single turbine was moving, possibly due to the virtual absence of wind.

Whitelee encourages visitors to which end provides a visitor centre, free access and cycling and walking trails. There are also guided bus tours of the site.

Oter facts concerning the wind turbines:

  • Each generates 2.3 Megawatts of electricity.
  • The towers stand 110 metres tall from base to blade tip and are made from steel.
  • Turbine blades are 45 metres long and are made from fibre glass and wood.
  • Each turbine has a three bladed horizontal axis.

In good weather, the elevated position affords good views of the site and the local landscape.

Turbine at Whitelee Wind Farm

Turbine at Whitelee Wind Farm, Scotland

Heather in Bloom at Whitelee Wind Farm

Heather in Bloom at Whitelee Wind Farm, Scotland

 

Turbines at Whitelee Wind Farm

Turbines at Whitelee Wind Farm, Eaglesham Moor

Dunwan Hill (below) is of historical interest. There is speculation that it may have been an Iron-Age fort but more likely the location of  a high status dwelling place from the 1st millennium. 

Dunwan Hill, Whitelee

Dunwan Hill, Whitelee, Scotland

Looking at the bigger picture:

  • Scotland has set a target of 80pct of electricity to be generated by renewables by 2020.
  • Wind turbines produce electricity 70-85pct of the time.
  • Over each year, a turbine will typically generate 30pct of maximum theoretical output.

An interesting visitor experience. I am scheduled to a small tour group to Whitelee later this week.

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