The largest clean energy companies in Britain are on track to power a greener economic recovery with multi-billion pound wind farm investments.
There are plans for Scotland’s oldest commercial wind farm to be repowered as part of a £150m scheme. The project aims to supply up to 100,000 homes with clean electricity in central Scotland. The wind farm cluster, planned by Scottish Power, will create around 280 long-term jobs.
In the north-east, SSE and Equinor have also announced a separate project to use the Port of Tyne as a base to create the largest offshore wind development in the world: Dogger Bank. This will create 200 long-term jobs as well as supporting a local supply chain of clean energy.
The head of Equinor’s UK business, Stephen Bull, said that the Dogger Bank development is on track to attract investors to the UK ‘at a challenging time for us all’.
The secretary of state for business, Alok Sharma, said that projects such as the offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank, will be ‘a key part of ensuring a green and resilient economic recovery as well as reaching our target of net-zero emissions by 2050’.
“Renewable energy is one of the UK’s great success stories, providing over a third of our electricity and thousands of jobs,” said Sharma.
The boss of Scottish Power, Keith Anderson, says that the upgrading of Hagshaw Hill - Scotland’s first commercial wind farm - will happen alongside the purchase of two separate development projects nearby. This will create a cluster of clean energy totalling 220MW in South Lanarkshire.
As well as being part of Scottish Power’s plan to create 1000MW of onshore wind power, the developments could also be a part of reviving the economy of the UK after the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re kickstarting as many of our projects as we can so they are ready to help boost the economy when the pandemic ends. Not only do these projects help funnel money back through the supply chain and into jobs but they also make sure that the economic recovery is based on sustainable investments,” said Anderson.
Scottish Power is owned by the multinational energy giant Iberdrola. Chairman and chief executive of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, said that the financial recovery from the coronavirus pandemic must be in line with climate targets.
“As we begin to emerge from the coronavirus crisis, investment in green infrastructure can quickly be delivered, creating jobs and offering immediate economic and environmental benefits. This will help to support the UK’s overall recovery at this critical time,” said Galán.
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