Decommissioning works begin at Scotland’s oldest wind farm

After nearly 30 years of service, the original wind turbines at the first ever commercial wind farm in Scotland, United Kingdom, are being decommissioned.

Energy giant ScottishPower Renewables recently appointed contractor Forsyth of Denny to carry out the dismantling and removal of the 26 original turbines at the Hagshaw Hill Wind Farm, which is situated near the town of Douglas in South Lanarkshire.

A crane is used to dismantle a wind turbine Contractor Forsyth of Denny is scheduled to complete the decommissioning works in October of this year. (PHOTO: ScottishPower Renewables)

The power generation site became operational in 1995 and during its long life of service has produced more than 895 MWh of clean energy. 

The decommissioning works, which have now begun and are expected to be completed by early October, are part of “repowering” plans to upgrade the site. 

Barry Carruthers, Onshore Managing Director at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “A number of our windfarms, like many across the UK, are starting to come to the end of their operational life.

“But repowering allows us to make these windfarms, sites we know can deliver the green, zero carbon electricity we need to reach Net Zero, more efficient and maximise the power we are getting from them.”

Described as an “important step forward”, the repowering of the site will see ScottishPower Renewables install just 14 new wind turbines, that together can produce over 79MW of energy - five times the amount of energy produced by the original turbine units.

A crane lowers a turbine component at Hagshaw wind farm (PHOTO: ScottishPower Renewables)

Barry said: “Repowering is critical to achieving Net Zero ambitions, but we need to be able to do it faster than current legislation allows. We know these sites, we know how to look after them and we know how much more they can deliver for the UK if we can repower them fast enough.”

With the first of the new wind turbines are due to be delivered in May of 2024, the upgraded power facility is due to become operational in early 2025.

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