British Energy has not ruled out developing other wind farms in the UK even if its proposed Isle of Lewis wind farm in Scotland is rejected by the Scottish government.
The controversial Lewis wind farm, which is being planned by a 50/50 joint venture of British Energy and AMEC, has received considerable local opposition, displayed in a petition of 5,000 signatures sent to the Scottish government.
Bill Coley, British Energy chief executive said: “Whether or not we pursue Lewis will not have an bearing on whether or not we would consider wind farms elsewhere.”
He added that planning applications will be an issue though. “Certainly you do want to take into account the acceptability and permitting for wind farms,” he added.
The joint venture has until Friday to respond to Scottish government questions about the project, posed to the joint venture since the petition was received. “[The Scottish government] asked for specific information and we will respond by the 15th,” though he did not give specific details about the response.
The Scottish government has told the partners that it is “minded to refuse” the project given the opposition and possible environmental impact, though it has not ruled out giving it the go ahead.
The partners have mentioned the possibility of scaling down the project to fit in with local wants, but Coley said that this may not be a viable option.
“We would have to review the economics of that. A scaling down makes the economic hurdle a bit higher. That certainly is not out of the question, but the smaller you make it, the more economically challenging it is to make it a successful project.”
13 February 2008
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