On the 19th of March the Carbon Management Society took a trip to Whitelee Wind-farm just outside Eaglesham south of Glasgow. The wind-farm is the largest onshore in the UK with an installed capacity of 539MW and is staggering in its scale with over 200 turbines stretching as far as the eye can see.
On the day a good wind was blowing and the farm was producing approximately 500MW, as a few turbines were down for routine maintenance, enough to meet over 1% of UK electricity demand. When we arrived we were whisked off on a bus tour by the very knowledgeable Andy who regaled us with funny stories and interesting facts about the wind farm and its wildlife.
We stepped out midway to inspect one of the turbines which was a surprisingly frightening experience, with a clearance of 20m and blades 45m long moving at 180 miles/hour it felt as though the blade was going to cut you in half when observed from below.
After a fascinating tour and a quick turbine hugging we headed inside and warmed ourselves up with hot drinks and the interactive displays on offer in the visitors centre. Having warmed and swatted up on wind power we headed home after a great day out feeling reassured of the role wind power is playing in the UK electricity grid and the potential it still has for expansion.