About the windfarm
Whitelee is the UK's largest onshore windfarm, located on Eaglesham Moor just 20 minutes from central Glasgow. Its 215 turbines generate up to 539 megawatts of electricity, enough to power just under 300,000 homes*.
With more than 130 kilometers of trails to explore, on foot, by cycle or by horse, with free parking and free entry to our onsite visitor centre, Whitelee is a great destination for a day out with the whole family.
*298,837 homes per year based on the expected average capacity factor of 27% and an average annual domestic electricity usage of 4,266kWh
Frequently Asked Questions
We have been harnessing the power of the wind for hundreds of years as it is a clean natural force that doesn’t have a cost. Wind was essential for early travel as boats used sails to catch the moving air to propel them forward. Traditional windmills captured the wind to mill grains into flour to make bread. Wind is even used to make kites fly! In recent years technology has advanced so much and the power of the wind can now be used to generate electricity through wind turbines, just like the ones at Whitelee Windfarm.
The turbines at Whitelee work like a fan in reverse. A traditional fan uses electricity to make the air move but turbines capture the wind to make electricity.
The three blades are specially designed to that ensures the wind can push them round. The moving blades are connected to a generator and when the generator turns it creates electricity.
When the wind doesn’t blow the turbines don’t turn, but Whitelee was chosen after lots of investigating to ensure that it will be windy and that the turbines will turn more often than not.
Although turbines need wind to generate electricity, too much wind could cause extra stress on the blades and risk them becoming damaged. When it gets too windy for the turbines the blades change position so they don’t fully catch the wind and the turbines can even use their brakes to stop the blades from spinning.
In Scotland there are currently more than 2,000 operational turbines, working to generate cleaner greener power. Across the whole of the UK there are more than 4,000 operational turbines. That’s potentially a lot of renewable energy! Click here for more detailed renewable energy statistics.
In total, Whitelee Windfarm’s 215 turbines are capable of generating up to 539 megawatts of electricity, enough to power just under 300,000 homes*. Across the windfarm we have three different turbine types. We have 140 turbines each generating up to 2.3 megawatts, 69 turbines generating up to 3 megawatts and 6 turbines generating up to 1.67 megawatts. *298,837 homes per year based on the expected average capacity factor of 27% and an average annual domestic electricity usage of 4,266kWh
Whitelee Windfarm has 215 turbines.
In 2009, Whitelee Windfarm’s original 140 turbines became fully operational. In 2013 they were joined by an additional 75 turbines as an extension to the site also became operational.
Whitelee has been carefully planned and designed to work in harmony with the existing environment and is home to a 25 square kilometre area of habitat management, one of the largest in the UK. Species such as merlin and black grouse can be spotted at Windfarm. For more detailed information about this initiative, please click here.
Wind turbines are powered by a free naturally produced resource and they are therefore extremely efficient. Once the turbines have been built the cost of making electricity is very small.
The wind turbines have lots of different parts made from lots of different materials. The tower, nacelle and nose hub are primarily made of steel. This makes sure it is strong enough to hold the blades and withstand the power of the wind. The blades are made of fibre glass and wood which makes them flexible but extremely tough. The blades weigh around 12 tonnes each.
At Whitelee Windfarm we have three different types of turbines, each are different heights. We measure the height from the base of the turbine to the tip of the blade at its highest point. We have 140 Siemens turbines that stand 110 metres tall, 69 Alstom turbines that stand 140 metres tall and 6 Alstom turbines that stand 110 metres tall.
The turbines need very little wind to start working – as slow as nine miles per hour.
The windfarm takes up very little space, in fact the turbines at Whitelee use less than five percent of the total land. The turbines are positioned in rows to make sure they get the maximum benefit of the wind. In each row the turbines are spaced five times their height apart. There is also a distance of three times the turbine’s height between the rows.
Turbines are typically operational for 20 years. However, after they have been decommissioned their parts can be recycled and used on other windfarms thus prolonging their life.