Swedish power giant Vattenfall has taken another step into the UK renewable energy market with a £126.6 million acquisition of the wind energy developer AMEC Wind Energy Ltd.The company that describes itself as the fifth largest generator in

Europe has described the UK as a “key market” for its future growth,

Advertisement

and has identified wind energy as an area in which it wishes to invest.

The AMEC wind division has one of the largest wind development

portfolios in the UK, with a potential of 573MW of capacity in the

pipeline. The company represents 6.5% of all consented and

in-development onshore wind projects in the UK, with the potential to

supply 2TWh of power each year, sufficient to provide 400,000 homes

with their electricity.

Northumberland-based AMEC Wind Energy

has been involved in more than 30 wind farms, including installations

in North America, and in the UK its portfolio includes the consented

45MW Teeswind North wind farm and the 30MW Edinbane wind farm, which

has been under construction since January.

While agreeing to buy

AMEC’s UK wind energy development division, Vattenfall has also agreed

to work with the rest of global consultancy and engineering giant AMEC

on its low carbon energy projects.

Vattenfall, which is 100%

owned by the Swedish state, is currently the world’s second largest

offshore wind operator, with the 30-turbine Kentish Flats wind farm off

the Kent coast representing its first project in the UK when it was

completed in 2005. Last month saw the company announcing its intention

to buy Lincolnshire-based wind developer Eclipse Energy.

Vattenfall

operates two coal-fired power plants in Germany and one in Poland, and

its renewable energy investments are part of a bid to reach “climate

neutrality” by 2050.

As well as developing wind projects in

other countries in which it operates – Denmark, Germany, Poland, Sweden

and Finland, Vattenfall’s UK wind ambitions will help the £11 billion

turnover company reach its goal of producing 50TWh of wind power a year

by 2030.

In the UK, the energy giant is bidding to develop big

new offshore wind farms as part of the third round of the Crown

Estate’s offshore leasing programme. Eclipse, which could be acquired

within a few weeks, is already developing several wind projects with

more than 200MW of potential capacity in the pipeline.

“Opportunity”

Commenting

on the acquisition of AMEC Wind Energy Ltd, Vattenfall chief executive

Lars Josefsson said: “This deal provides an excellent opportunity to

expand our business in the UK by strengthening our local presence and

leveraging our considerable experience in wind power. As part of our

strategy to reduce emissions, Vattenfall has very ambitious plans for

renewable energy.

“The UK is a prime target market for future

renewables growth, due to its well-functioning support systems, a

deregulated and competitive market for electricity and openness to

foreign investment. AMEC Wind is a sound company with long experience

within this field and has developed important projects in line with our

business and ambitions. Vattenfall sees the economics of the UK wind

sector being attractive as the UK also benefits from high wind speeds,

providing wind farms in the UK with higher load factors than wind farms

in much of Continental Europe,” Mr Josefsson said.

Samir Brikho,

AMEC chief executive added: “This is an excellent deal for both AMEC

and Vattenfall. We are delighted to be working with Vattenfall as they

build their position in the UK wind energy market. This is an area of

national importance and together we look forward to making a

significant contribution towards the UK’s targets for energy from

renewable sources.”

Announcement from our Chairman, David C BarclayThe World Renewable Energy Association are delighted to announce the launch of a brand-new initiative exclusively for its members. The Renewable Energy Finance Hub has been launched following the largest survey undertaken with UK businesses conducted by WoREA in conjunction with the UK Government and its partners. Reduce your businesses carbon footprint today and begin your journey towards net zero!