The controversial Fallago Rig wind farm is expected to start generating electricity next month, writes Sandy Neil.
The 48-turbine construction in the Lammermuirs was approved by Scottish ministers in 2010, and attracted major opposition and two public inquiries. But owners EDF Energy Renewables argue it has been “a huge boost for the local economy, with an estimated £6-7million being spent through local suppliers, 230 people – including 15 locals – employed on site and injecting an estimated £110million into the UK economy”.
The project it is expected to begin commercial operation in early 2013, generating 144 MW of sustainable electricity.
Don Mackay, head of onshore construction for EDF Energy Renewables, said: “All the challenges have been worthwhile. There is a sense of pride, as we near completion, that the team has delivered a renewable energy project on this scale safely, on time and on budget, with minimal impact on the local environment.
“When operation ceases here, the site will be returned to its original state, having played its part in delivering low-carbon electricity for more than 80,000 homes in Scotland. We have laid 39km of access roads, poured 19,000 cubic metres of concrete and put down 2,600 tonnes of steel reinforcement. At the peak of activity on site, there were up to 230 men working here at any one time, and all this has taken place safely.
“It takes 4.5 hours to transport a turbine from Rosyth to Fallago Rig and we have completed 384 load moves without one incident. The project has a remarkable safety record and this is something we are very proud of. As well as the immense economic benefits for the area, the community will also benefit from a further £240,000 in community funding for every year the wind farm is operational.”