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Fresh criticism on wind farm buys  

An independent report has raised questions about an enterprise company’s decision to invest in two wind turbine firms that subsequently went bust.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s (HIE) put more than £14m into Cambrian Engineering and then Camcal.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said the investment did comply with its internal proceedures, but questioned the effectiveness of the procedures.

HIE said the report showed its decisions were “sound”.

PricewaterhouseCoopers point to Cambrian engineering’s assertion of projected growth in sales from nothing to £32.5m in three years through its work at the Arnish yard in the Western Isles.

They said no evidence was provided to HIE of the company’s assertion it was virtually certain to win the contract to build all 300 turbines for a proposed giant wind farm on Lewis.

PricewaterhouseCoopers also questioned whether Cambrian’s management had the right skills or understanding of the renewable energy market.

They said HIE’s interrogation of the company’s proposals could have been better researched and more rigorous.

Donnie Macaulay, of HIE, said: “This report essentially acknowledges the difficult market conditions of this potentially lucrative industry.

“However it also confirms our confidence that we are working in the right way and in the right arenas to get the most benefit out of this very valuable asset at Arnish.”

BBC News

bbc.co.uk

23 May 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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