Britain’s leading green energy company Ecotricity and global construction and development firm Skanska are forming a joint venture called Skylark to build 350 megawatt capacity wind farm projects in the country.
The 50-50 joint venture will aim to put 350MW of new green energy projects into the planning system in the first 5 years with an estimated investment of 500 million pounds provided it gets necessary clearances.
The companies are targeting to supplying green electricity to 200,000 homes with the proposed 350MW generation capacity to be installed, the firms said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Ecotricity will use its expertise in green energy development to design wind parks and gain planning consents, while Skanska will use their expertise in construction and engineering,” Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said.
Three development sites have already been identified for Skylark’s first round of investment, representing around 100MW of generating capacity, with the target of delivering new renewable energy capacity for Britain as early as 2018
Skylark is expected to create a large number of jobs from planning experts through to scientific, technical, construction and maintenance roles.
The launch of Skylark comes at a time when several companies such as SSE have pulled out of UK onshore wind projects citing financial reasons besides the local opposition in getting planning approval as residents complain about the noise and view obstruction by the wind turbines.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party has pledged to end government subsidies for onshore wind farms if it wins a national election next year. The prospect of the government withdrawing subsidies has led to some rethink among the investors.
“It’s a simple partnership that will help to bring energy independence to Britain using green energy made in Britain,” Vince said.
“This joint venture with Skanska will help Ecotricity further advance the mission we already pursue with the support of our customers changing the way energy is made in Britain so we can all live more sustainable lives.”
Ecotricity is a ‘not-for-dividend’ enterprise that operates a unique ‘bills into mills’ business model that uses customers’ energy bills to fund the building of new sources of green energy.
Skanska Infrastructure Development EVP, Steve Cooper said: “At Skanska, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Wherever we work, we strive to push forward the green agenda in construction and infrastructure development. Our green agenda, together with our wish to build what society needs, help to define us as a company.”
Ecotricity operates wind farms of around 70 MW capacity in Britain.
As one of the world’s leading construction groups, Skanska will carry out all aspects of the construction and development, as well as investment.
Their track record includes major projects in Britain for over the past 10 years, including large PFI contracts such as Barts and The London Hospitals and the M25. They have also built two large wind farms in their home country Sweden.