SSE pulls out of two onshore wind projects in Scotland

Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:33am EST

* Onshore wind subsidies cut late last year

* Onshore wind has struggled to get planning permission in past

LONDON Feb 24 (Reuters) - British utility SSE said it had decided to withdraw planning applications for two wind farm projects on land in Scotland due to financial reasons.

The firm had submitted planning applications to the Scottish government to build an 81 megawatt (MW) Dalnessie wind farm in Sutherland and for an extension to its 36 MW Fairburn wind farm in Ross-shire.

The firm said that continued investment in developing the projects was no longer financially viable.

"SSE continues to have a good pipeline of very strong onshore renewable developments across Scotland," Colin Nicol, SSE's director of onshore renewables, said in a statement on Monday.

"Each project is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and the decision to end Dalnessie and Fairburn Extension means that we can redirect resource onto the best projects in our portfolio."

Britain has ambitious plans to boost production of renewable power to help it meet legally binding targets to reduce carbon emissions and to replace ageing nuclear reactors and polluting coal-fired power plants, up to a fifth of which face retirement this decade.

The British government cut proposed subsidies to support the development of onshore wind late last year, however, while boosting support for offshore wind.

Onshore wind farms often have come under fire from local residents for obstructing views and making too much noise and have struggled to get planning approval.

A growing list of companies have recently scaled back plans to build both offshore and onshore wind capacity in Britain.

Last week, a consortium of Denmark's Dong Energy , Germany's E.ON and Abu Dhabi state-owned energy investor Masdar decided to scrap a project to expand the London Array, the world's largest offshore wind farm.

RWE and Iberdrola-owned Scottish Power have also scrapped or scaled back huge offshore wind farm projects, citing the costs involved in developing deepwater sites.

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