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Kilchrenan wind farm approved

Scottish ministers have approved the construction of a 60MW wind farm to power up to 32,000 homes.

The 20 turbine Carraig Gheal wind farm near Kilchrenan, will: "provide a significant amount of electricity used in Argyll and Bute's homes and is another step towards making Scotland the green energy capital of Europe," according to Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney.

"We already have the comparative advantage of a vast array of potentially cheap, renewable energy sources in Scotland. In our drive to fulfil that potential, reduce emissions and achieve our ambitious climate change targets, we are investing in a range of technologies - in onshore and offshore wind, tidal, wave, biomass, and clean coal including carbon capture technology."

In November 2004, Green Power (Carraig Gheal) Ltd applied for consent to construct and operate a wind farm comprising 24 turbines, with a maximum installed capacity of 72 MW. Following the consultation round, the applicant revised the development layout and reduced the number of turbines to 20 to address visual impacts and bird issues.

A bird monitoring programme to protect local bird populations must be approved by the Council.

The Scottish Government has set a target to produce 31% of electricity demand from renewable sources by 2011, and 50% by 2020.

37 renewable project applications - 28 wind farms, eight hydro projects and one wave project are currently coming under the scrutiny of the Scottish executive, with 1GW currently under construction, and up to 3.6GW under application.

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