Scout Moor Wind Farm is the largest onshore wind farm in England. The wind farm, which was built for Peel Holdings, is powered by 26 Nordex N80 wind turbines. It has a total nameplate capacity of 65 MW of electricity, providing 154,000 MW·h per year, enough to serve the average needs of 40,000 homes. The site occupies 1,347 acres (545 ha) of open moorland between Edenfield, Rawtenstall and Rochdale, and is split between the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale in northern Greater Manchester and the Borough of Rossendale in south-eastern Lancashire. The turbines are visible from as far away as south Manchester, 15–20 miles (24–32 km) away.
A protest group formed to resist the proposed construction, and attracted support from botanist and environmental campaigner David Bellamy. Despite the opposition, planning permission was granted in 2005, and construction began in 2007. Although work on the project was hampered by harsh weather, difficult terrain and previous mining activity, the wind farm was officially opened on 25 September 2008 after "years of controversy", at a cost of £50 million. In May 2007 plans were announced for a second wind power project on the moors above Haslingden, on the opposite side of the Rossendale Valley.
Scout Moor is an upland moor of peat bog and heather in the South Pennines, reaching a maximum elevation of 1,552 feet (473 m) at its peak, Top of Leach. The underlying geology – a mixture of hard rock and soft shales – broadly belongs to the Lower Coal Measures. The rock and shales weather at different rates, giving the area a landscape of "steep escarpments separated by sloping shelves", although the main dome of the moor is flat and rounded. The moorland covers an area of about 1,347 acres (545 ha), of which less than 21 acres (8.5 ha), about 2%, is occupied by the wind farm.
Scout Moor Quarry, a 250-acre (100 ha) open-pit mine in Edenfield, is used for the extraction of gritstone and sandstone, and...