Gamesa unveils UK wind farm plans

Intention is to add a further 1,600 total megawatt capacity elsewhere in Britain

A Spanish company is to provide a major boost to renewable energy production in the UK by building wind farms across the country, it emerged today. Gamesa Energy UK – a division of one of the world’s biggest renewable energy developers – already has a portfolio for 400 megawatts in Wales and wants to add another 1,600 total megawatt capacity elsewhere in Britain. The firm hopes to have up to five wind farms running in Wales in as little as two years. The plans are still at an early stage but would represent a major lift to Britain’s wind power industry, which currently has 1,125 working turbines with a 772.4 total megawatt capacity. Details of Gamesa’s intentions emerged the day after it officially opened its UK headquarters in Newport, South Wales. The company, which was founded in 1976 as an aerospace construction firm, has diversified into renewable energy and is responsible for 450 megawatts of project installations in Spain. It has been planning the UK move for some time as experts consider it to be one of the most promising wind energy markets in the world.

Matt Partridge, development director of the Gamesa Energy UK, said the company was aiming at a portfolio of about 2,000 megawatts. “Four hundred will be in Wales, the rest across England and Scotland,” he said. “Regular reports into global renewable energy markets show the UK has been near or at the top for the last 18 months. “It has the best wind resources and there is strong political backing,” he added. Alternative energy sources currently produce only 3% of Britain’s electricity supply. The Government wants this to reach 10% by 2010 but any investment in wind power can take years to bear fruit.

Mr Partridge said: “Things in wind power do not happen overnight. It is going to be towards the end of the decade that we realise the numbers being talked about at the moment.” The farms planned for Wales could, however, be running in as little as two years. “I hope within a timescale of two to four years we will have up to five operational wind farms there. With a fair wind we may even be able to better that,” Mr Partridge said. The number of turbines, which can be up to 100 metres tall, on any particular wind farm would depend on the size of the site.
Online editorial www.windfair.net
Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
UK, Gamesa Energy, wind farm, wind energy, wind turbine

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