CONSTRUCTION has begun on a windfarm near Langholm without the support of government subsidies.
Muirhall Energy of Lanarkshire started work at Crossdykes north west of the town on Monday.
The event was attended by members of Langholm, Ewes and Westerkirk community council.
The project will be one of the first windfarms to be built in the UK without subsidy after the closure of government support schemes for onshore wind. Generation is scheduled to start in September next year.
The development will pay £322,000 annually into communities and communities are also considering the opportunity to acquire up to 10 per cent of the scheme which would deliver additional revenues to be invested in projects.
The 46MW windfarm will generate the equivalent of the annual power consumption of more than 45,000 houses.
The company was granted a variation to the previous consent in June, with tip heights increasing from 149.9m to 176.5m and turbine numbers reduced from 15 to 10.
Chris Walker, managing director, said: “We’re delighted to start construction on this great project. It will be one of the first subsidy-free developments to come online anywhere in the UK.
“We’ve got a tight timeline to work to but we are very much aiming to be up and running by next September.
“This is a landmark day for our company and for the wider renewable energy sector.
“It shows how far we have come as an industry in just a few short years and what a great renewable energy resource we have here in southern Scotland.
“We really value the tremendous support we’ve had from the communities around the windfarm during the development process and we very much intend to continue to work closely with them as they seek to realise the opportunity offered by shared ownership.”
Councillor Ronnie Tait, Annandale East and Eskdale, added: “It’s been a long journey to get to the point of construction of Crossdykes.
“I understand the energy generated will supply up to 45,000 homes as well as deliver a financial benefit to the communities involved.
“It has been a pleasure working with Alastair Yule, Jason Morin and their team and I wish Muirhall Energy well in this project.”
Muirhall Energy currently has a consented portfolio of almost 400MW.