Energy firm Centrica has no plans to develop more wind farms off Barrow, despite a £2bn commitment to creating more renewable energy schemes.
The company, which runs British Gas and owns the Morecambe Bay gas fields and the Rampside terminals in Barrow, is half owner of the Barrow Offshore Wind (BOW) wind farm four miles off Walney.
It has just announced that it is evaluating a potential multi-billion pound increase in investment in renewable energy, largely targeted at offshore turbines.
The move would help Britain achieve ambitious goals of producing 33 gigawatts of electricity from offshore wind by 2020, enough to power every UK home, at an overall cost of around £70bn.
Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said that as Britain’s largest residential electricity supplier, with around 23 per cent of the market, the company had an “important role to play.”
Centrica already plans to build around 1.5 gigawatts of renewable generation with partners, at a cost of around £3bn, with two new 90 megawatt wind farms at Lynn and Inner Dowsing, 5km off Britain’s east coast. Together they are expected to provide enough power for more than 130,000 homes.
Three other offshore wind farms are awaiting planning approval off the East Coast and the Thames Estuary.
Mr Laidlaw said: “Our emphasis will be on wind, gas and new nuclear – a balance of the three.
“It is vital that there is a supportive market and a planning framework in place that encourages energy companies to build these.”
A Centrica spokesman said the group currently had no plans for more turbines off Barrow, where plans already exist for more than 300 turbines to be erected by other companies.
l British Gas, owned by Centrica, recorded profits of £571m in 2007, up from £95m in 2006, contributing to a 40 per cent surge in group-wide profits.
1 March 2008
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