The Forestry Commission could build its own wind farms to capitalise on interest in developing renewables on its land.
The commission is carrying out a review of its renewable energy policy to ensure it gets the maximum return for the taxpayer.
Six wind farms have already been built on Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) land and another 40 projects are proposed, while there are also plans for small hydro schemes.
The FCS, Scotland’s largest land manager, is now looking at becoming more involved in the developments as well as hosting them.
A spokesman said it was keen to support the development of renewables on the national forest estate to make a contribution towards the Scottish Executive’s green energy targets.
He said: “For the last few years, we have been working with wind-farm developers on a number of wind-farm projects on our land.
“Back then, it was a totally new area of work for the commission, so it makes sense now to take a fresh look at how these projects are developed so as to get the best value for the taxpayer. In the future, we intend to review the range of options open to us in developing wind farms.”
Calum MacDonald, the former Western Isles MP and now the Forestry Commissioner for Scotland, said:
“Although the FCS is hosting a number of major wind-farm developments, and we do get a rental revenue, that is nothing compared with the returns if we had developed these schemes ourselves.”
By John Ross
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