The Biggest Solar Projects in Scotland  0

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Scotland has a bold plan to reach net zero by 2045. This ambitious target can be met by aggressively changing power sources from traditional fossil fuels and nuclear power to more sustainable, renewable energy sources. 

Scotland’s supplies of renewable energy have grown steadily over the past decade. Most of the renewable energy comes from this notoriously windy country’s many wind farms – but solar is catching up!  

Although some people are sceptical about how effective solar can be in a country not known for having lots of sunshine, commercial-scale solar farms do work in Scotland and are playing an increasingly important role in Scotland’s sustainable energy mix. Surprisingly, Scotland gets a similar amount of irradiance to Germany, which has the largest PV market in the world. 

So if you’re curious as to how Scotland is faring with the commitment to being 100% emission-free by 2045, here are some of the biggest solar projects in the country contributing to that effort! 

Errol Estate Solar Farm 

This solar farm, which was Scotland’s largest at the time of construction, has the capacity to power around 3,500 households. With 55,000 solar panels spread across a 70-acre plot of land, the facility generates 13MW of green electricity and is operational year-round.

This solar farm, which has been created by Bristol-based Elgin Energy, will use solar PV panels supplied by Canadian Solar, a global provider of solar PV panels.

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The farm, located in Carse of Gowrie on the Errol Estate, showed investors and government alike that large-scale solar farms are viable in the country.

Government minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “This very substantial and impressive project is proof that large scale solar photovoltaic systems work well on the east coast of Scotland and I am also greatly encouraged that a variety of organisations are continuing to source solar sites across the country, with a view to developing financially viable schemes.

“The Scottish Government is developing a new, overarching Energy Strategy for Scotland, which means developing a ‘whole systems approach’ considering Scotland’s energy supply and consumption as equal priorities, building a genuinely integrated approach to power, transport and heat, and solar will play an important role within the energy mix.”

Wormit Solar Farm

The Wormit Solar Farm, which is located in Fife County, Scotland, generates roughly 5MW of electricity. It is situated on 27 acres of land and has the capacity to provide electricity to up to 1360 houses in the surrounding area. This farm has been in operation since March 2016.

Mackie’s of Scotland’s Solar Farm

Mackie’s solar farm is a 1.8MW solar farm located on their Aberdeenshire family farm. The 7,000 panel PV system can provide enough electricity to power 193 houses for an entire year.

That power is being used to help Mackie produce its ice cream and chocolate! 

Aside from solar panels the farm is also equipped with wind turbines, with the PV system picking up the slack during the summer months when wind levels are lower. Thanks to this combination of solar and wind energy, the Mackie farm is 80% powered by renewable energy. We think that this is an excellent example of a sustainable and environmentally friendly long-term business!

The success of these solar farms has shown that it is possible for solar energy to be successful and make a significant contribution to Scotland’s green energy mix. When considering the increasing costs of fossil fuels and on-going government support for renewables, it is no surprise that there are even more large-scale solar farm projects in the pipeline. 

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Glasgow Airport solar farm

This 15-megawatt project is planned to be operational by summer 2023. The 30-acre site is right next to the airport and the ground-mounted solar farm will give Glasgow Airport the capability to generate enough power for the airport campus and neighbouring businesses. 

This is equivalent to powering almost 20% of homes in the city of Glasgow (approximately 52,000 households)!

Langlee solar farm

This solar farm development will cover approximately 90 acres with the installation of around 76,000 photovoltaic solar panels, which are projected to produce up to 20 megawatts of renewable energy each year.

This translates to around 7,000 households being powered each year by renewable energy from this solar farm!  

Bilbo solar farm

This 36-megawatt solar farm is to be located at Bilbo Farm in Aberdeenshire. With over 100,000 panels covering 50 acres of property immediately south of Crimond, this solar farm is planned to provide enough energy to power 10,000 homes for 35 years!

Milltown Airfield solar farm

This 50 megawatt (MW) project in Elgin, Moray, will see about 200,000 solar panels installed on 115 hectares of a former military airfield.

This solar farm could power 15,000 homes or 19,000 electric vehicles for a year!

It will be nearly four times the size of the 13MW Errol solar farm in Perth, which is currently Scotland’s largest solar farm.

Conclusion

Soaring oil prices and climate change are the biggest factors for Scotland’s power sources to change to renewables. The Scottish government is pushing for 100% sustainable power by 2045. Scotland is a renewable energy pioneer, and its contributions to renewable energy and the environment have been recognized around the world.

Wind power is still Scotland’s biggest source of renewable energy, but as you can see from our examples above, solar is making big moves to provide a significant amount of Scotland’s renewable energy.

Scotland’s decision to add solar power to wind and other sustainable energy sources will help lower its carbon footprint and limit the devastation of climate change. As well as helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, shifting early to low-carbon energy can help Scotland become energy independent with an abundant supply of renewable energy.

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