24 Feb 2011 10:02:03
Scottish forest land to be used for wind farms
The Forestry Commission has announced a scheme which will enable Scottish communities to receive cash from wind turbines installed on forest land.
If the scheme reaches its full 500MW potential, the residents could access £2.5 million of cash a year, with £5,000 awarded per MW installed.
Five 'lots' suitable for installations of 5MW or higher have been designated and project developers, who will have eight months to investigate specific sites for the turbines, have been identified.
Scottish Power will develop all projects smaller than 5MW.
Environment and climate change minister Roseanna Cunningham said: "All these projects will of course be handled in an environmentally sensitive manner and will need to go through the proper planning processes.
"Any felling to make way for wind farm developments will be offset by compensatory planting."
The announcement was welcomed by both Scottish Renewable and Friends of the Earth Scotland, the latter of which said it "makes sense" to look for other uses for plots of forest land not suitable for trees.
Scotland is aiming for 80 percent of its power to come from renewable sources by the year 2020 and is on course to surpass its interim target of 31 percent in 2011.