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26-turbine wind farm plan approved by Scottish Government

A new wind farm which could produce enough electricity to power almost 50,000 homes has been given the go-ahead by the Scottish Government.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing has approved planning permission for the 26 turbines to go up five kilometres (3.1 miles) south of Strathaven in South Lanarkshire.

The Kype Muir wind farm will have a maximum generating capacity of 104 megawatts and could power the equivalent of 49,000 homes.

It could also generate cash for the local community, with as much as £4 million expected to be made available over the lifetime of the development while the construction of the wind farm could create an estimated 50 jobs.

Mr Ewing said: "The Kype Muir wind farm will create jobs both in its construction and during its lifetime.

"Once it is up and running, the wind farm will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and will be able to produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 49,000 homes.

"Wind farms like Kype Muir provide considerable benefits to their local community and play an important part in helping Scotland reach its target of the equivalent of 100% of electricity demand generated from renewables.

"Scotland is leading the way across the UK in how we support local and community ownership of renewable energy.

"We have been supporting communities to develop renewable projects for over a decade and, over that time, our support has adapted to meet the needs of communities."

Mr Ewing announced planning consent for the new development at the same time as the environmental body Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) published fresh guidance on the location and design of wind farms.

The revised advice sets out key principles for siting of wind farms and how to use design to minimise the impact they have on their surroundings.

Brendan Turvey, policy manager for renewables at SNH, said: "We want to see wind farms which are well-designed in the right locations. This guidance sets out the key principles to achieve this.

"Experience has shown that good design can make a significant difference to the overall landscape and visual impact.

"As more wind farms are developed in Scotland it is important that new sites are well designed to minimise cumulative effects on our landscapes."

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