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,
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.
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
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.
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
“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.
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