A Scottish renewable energy firm has started construction work on a windfarm it reckons will be the first in the country developed without the benefit of subsidy.

Muirhall Energy expects the Crossdykes Wind Farm near Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway to start producing power from September 2020.

The 10-turbine windfarm is expected to generate enough energy to power 45,000 homes.

The progress of the project will be watched closely amid hopes it could inspire developers to build other windfarms in Scotland.

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The future of the onshore sector was thrown into question after land-based windfarms were largely barred from receiving support under official subsidy programmes from 2016.

Lanarkshire-based Muirhall and project partner WWS Renewables secured funding for Crossdykes from Close Brothers investment bank.

The bank’s decision signalled confidence in the economics of onshore windfarms.

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“This is a landmark moment for onshore wind in Scotland,” said energy minister Paul Wheelhouse.

Noting the Scottish Government strongly supports onshore wind, he added: “I very much hope this will be followed by many more similar developments as we seek to address the climate emergency.”

However, Muirhall’s managing director Chris Walker noted: “Access to the Contract for Difference or some other support mechanism would make a huge difference to the economics of the sector, encouraging the build-out of some of the more challenging consented sites.”

Founded by Mr Walker in 2009, Muirhall Energy has interests in windfarm projects across the UK.

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The firm has offered members of the community in the area of the Crossdykes windfarm to buy up to 10 per cent of the project.

Mr Walker said: “We have had tremendous support from the communities around the wind farm.”