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Greenpeace opposes wind farm plan

The environmental campaign group, Greenpeace, is opposing a giant wind farm planned for the Western Isles.

It is concerned about the size of the scheme which will see 234 turbines sited across 30 miles of Lewis.

Greenpeace said that it backed the use of wind energy as a way of reducing global warming.

But it said the cost of laying an undersea cable to the mainland had determined the scheme's size. It also fears for the impact on bird numbers.

Greenpeace is concerned that a variety of rare birds, including golden eagles, merlins, dunlins and greenshanks, could be displaced or killed by the development.

Energy targets

The plans have been lodged by Lewis Wind Power, a joint venture company.

It was formed by British Energy and London-based energy firm Amec.

The developer says the 702-megawatt wind farm could generate up to 8m a year for the Western Isles economy.

It also estimates that more than 300 jobs would be created during the wind farm's four-year construction and a further 350 jobs over its 25-year lifetime.

The turbines would generate enough green energy to supply electricity to 450,000 homes.

The development could meet about 6% of the UK's renewable energy targets and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.85 million tonnes per annum, when compared with coal-fired power stations.