Renewable energy generation capacity from Scotland’s national forest estate reaches 1GW
Image credit: PA
The energy generation capacity from renewables in Scotland’s national forest estate has now reached 1GW, Forest Enterprise Scotland has announced.
The majority of the renewables projects, which generate enough electricity to power around 500,000 homes each year, are wind farms, with the remainder from small scale hydro schemes.
Forest Enterprise Scotland receives around £11m each year from leasing the land for energy projects with the income being reinvested into various forestry programmes.
Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, said: “Our national forest estate is delivering on a number of fronts for the people of Scotland.
“This generation of clean renewable energy generation is playing an important contribution to our ambitious climate change programme. However, the benefits don’t stop there.
“Communities across the country, often in remoter rural areas, are currently benefiting from over £2.7m each year in community payments as a result of these renewable energy projects. This extra money is often welcome in helping communities with local initiatives.”
Michael Ansell, head of estate development with Forest Enterprise Scotland, said a further 80 MW of capacity is under construction, with another 330MW of renewable capacity awaiting construction and 250MW awaiting permission from the planning system.
He said: “Scotland’s national forest estate is ideally placed to help the Scottish Government meet its renewable energy targets and deliver for communities at the same time.
He added: “All renewable energy projects on the national forest estate will continue to be developed sensitively through the open planning process with full consultation with the public.”
Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of the Forestry Commission, which manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish ministers.