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Scotland backs 370 MW wind farm

April 5, 2012 at 8:12 AM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, April 5 (UPI) -- The Scottish government approved of the development of a wind farm on the Shetland Islands that will produce 370 megawatts of electricity, the government said.

The Scottish government said it gave consent for the development of the 103-turbine Viking wind farm. Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the project would help move his country closer to its 2020 goal of getting 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy resources.

"Developments like Viking will help us meet our 2020 target and will make a huge contribution to our target of 500 MW from community and locally owned renewable energy by 2020, while benefiting communities, cutting emissions and helping to keep energy bills lower," he said in a statement.

The wind farm will export electricity to the mainland. It would produce 16 times the amount of electricity needed for the Shetland population.

The wind farm marks the 50th renewable energy project approved by the Scottish government since 2007 and would be the third largest in Scotland.

Ministers withheld consent for 24 turbines because of the potential impact on regional aviation. Bill Manson, chairman of Viking Energy, said the consent was good news in the fight against climate change.

"There is still much to do before a wind farm in the central mainland of Shetland becomes a certainty," he advised.

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