March 9, 2012

Burcote plans to build $1.7 billion of wind parks in Scotland

By Sally Bakewell, Bloomberg, 9 March 2012

Burcote Wind Ltd., a U.K. renewable energy developer, plans to build 10 wind parks in Scotland, with an investment of about 1.08 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) and enough capacity to supply power to half a million homes.

The company, based in Dunfermline, Fife, plans to build 800 megawatts of projects from Aberdeenshire to Dumfries and Galloway, the company said in a statement. It will seek partners for the investment after getting approval for the sites.

First Minister Alex Salmond said that while the parks need planning approval, they show the opportunity for green industry in Scotland, which has reaffirmed a pledge to get all its energy from renewables by 2020. A planned U.K. Green Investment Bank to spur low-carbon developments will be based in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, the central government said yesterday.

Scotland’s renewable energy sector got about 750 million pounds of investment in the year to October 2011, Salmond said.

Burcote is studying four zones at Meikleton, Creggan, Sandy Knowe and Benshinnie and will submit planning applications in the next 18 months, according to today’s statement. The parks may create about 600 jobs in Scotland and power 554,000 homes.

Scotland has about a quarter of Europe’s wind resources, according to the company. “It would be crazy not to harness that power, especially as fossil fuels become scarcer and ever more expensive,” Chairman Graham Brown said in the statement.

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