Renewable energy company plans to build ten wind farms in Scotland
The £1.8 billion project would create 600 jobs and power over 500,000 homes
Renewable energy developer Burcote Wind has outlined plans to build ten wind farms at locations across Scotland, from Aberdeenshire to Dumfries and Galloway.
The company predicts that the ten wind farm projects would create 110 permanent jobs, in engineering and maintenance, and 475 temporary construction jobs.
The renewable projects represent a total investment of £1.08 billion, including pre-planning costs, capital expenditure on wind turbines and grid connection upgrades, and ongoing operating costs.
If given consent, the wind farms could produce an annual electricity output capable of meeting the energy needs of 554,000 homes.
Burcote Wind is currently consulting on proposals for four sites in Scotland, for which the planning applications will be submitted during the next 18 months. The firm said six other sites are also at early stages of "environmental and technical appraisal".
Graham Brown, chairman of Burcote Wind, said: "Our pipeline of projects represents a major investment in Scotland's renewables sector worth around £1 billion, with the potential to create and support nearly 600 jobs.
"We're adamant that we want our projects to contribute to Scotland's ambitions to reinvigorate its industrial base. So as well as creating skilled jobs, we are exploring opportunities to use community benefit funding to create training opportunities for young people at local colleges and help equip our workforce with the skills needed for Scotland to take full advantage of the huge economic potential the renewables industry has to offer."
He added: "Scotland is fortunate to have huge energy resources - and wind must be counted among the best of these. With around a quarter of Europe's wind resource, it would be crazy not to harness that power, especially as fossil fuels become scarcer and ever more expensive."
Commenting on the plans, First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Burcote's announcement is very welcome and further evidence of the significant interest from a range of businesses in investing in Scotland's world-leading renewable energy industry.
"While each project will be subject to the appropriate planning processes, this proposed investment underlines yet again how our natural resources are creating new, green jobs and putting Scotland at the forefront of the renewables revolution."
Dr Richard Dixon, WWF Scotland director, said: "Another company making a very large commitment to Scotland's renewable energy industry is great news.
"With our huge natural resources and strong government targets, Scotland is fast becoming one of the best places in the world to come to design, manufacture and install renewable energy technologies.