FCC to roll out wind farms at WRG’s UK landfills

The move is part of FCC’s diversification and ongoing expansion into the renewable energy sector and will help fill the UK’s anticipated energy gap as older nuclear and coal powered facilities are decommissioned.

This landmark initiative brings together two FCC subsidiaries, FCC Energy (FCCE) and Waste Recycling Group (WRG), one of the UK’s leading waste and resource management companies, to construct 80 megawatts (MW) of wind energy capacity across a number of its restored and operational landfill sites in the UK.

The Company intends to invest £100 million in building wind energy developments on suitable sites identified from its portfolio of more than 100 landfill sites in England, Scotland and Wales.

The new electricity generating capacity will add to the 533 MW of green capacity that FCC currently owns and manages in Spain and the UK.

WRG already recovers the energy from the clean combustion of non-hazardous household, commercial and industrial wastes at its Energy from Waste (EfW) incineration facilities. These include Allington EfW in Kent, which generates electricity for export to the local network, and the Eastcroft EfW which generates thermal energy in the form of steam, for use by Nottingham’s district heating scheme to supply thousands of homes, offices, shops and public buildings in the city.

Generating low carbon electricity locally not only alleviates energy security concerns but also reduces distribution inefficiencies. This FCC scheme leverages WRG’s UK waste facilities, adding wind energy to sites that are already generating clean energy, for instance from landfill methane.

FCCE operates 14 wind farms in Spain with 422 MW of installed capacity. The Company also operates two photovoltaic plants of 10 MW each in the south of Spain and is building two Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) projects in Spain registered with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Spanish Government.

Currently, FCCE and WRG are reviewing potentially suitable sites across the UK from WRG’s landholdings, and are conducting a rigorous assessment of all technical and environmental aspects to ensure that the final selected sites are the most appropriate for wind energy developments.

It is anticipated that planning applications for the first wind turbines will be submitted later this year.

Paul Taylor, WRG’s new Chief Executive, explained: "As an environmentally responsible company it is right that we take the opportunity that our extensive landholding offers for the development of wind turbines, and which will contribute to efforts to increase the amount of renewable energy generated in the UK.

"Given the already extensive experience WRG has in recovering renewable energy from a range of waste treatment technologies, and the experience FCCE has in the operation of wind assets, this latest venture is the next logical step for the Group. We will also seek other opportunities to develop our wind energy activities beyond the programme we are announcing today.

"We are pleased to be supporting the objectives of our parent company FCC, who have made clear their intention to grow strong interests in renewable energy, including through the development of wind and energy from waste facilities."

Alejandro Seco, FCC Energy’s Strategy and Development Director added: "Sustainable energy is a strategic priority for FCC. Our energy division, FCC Energy, plans to leverage FCC’s internal capabilities and competences to continue the Group’s solid and stable global growth. This new UK venture is a significant first step towards achieving FCC Energy’s goals. Greenfield developments in FCC’s existing assets, within jurisdictions such as the UK that actively support renewable energy development, constitute an opportunity that FCC Energy is keenly pursuing."

Waste Recycling Group Limited, a leading UK waste management and energy recovery company, is part of Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) the international environmental services, infrastructure and energy group. FCC in the UK comprises WRG and Focsa Services (UK) Limited.

Focused on delivering integrated waste management and energy recovery solutions to meet national, regional and local needs, WRG operates facilities for the reception, recycling and disposal of waste, including a network of waste transfer and recycling centres and a regional network of landfill sites.