Irish firm buys its first British wind farms

An Irish power firm has snapped up its first UK based wind farms after announcing the market was 'key' to a low carbon future.

Electrical Supply Board, better known as ESB, has bought the Fullabrook Wind Farm in Devon, which has planning permission for a 66MW generating site and the West Durham Wind Farm in County Durham - which is already up and running.

The power company hopes to generate 200MW from sites in the UK by 2012 and the new farms bring it to almost half of that target.

Fullabrook is located between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe in North Devon and the construction of 22 turbines to generate the power is due to start early next year.

The 12 turbine, 24MW West Durham site, is located near Tow Law in the North East of England.

It was developed, financed and constructed by The Banks Group and started generating power last May.

ESB's head of wind development, Joe O'Mahony, said the deals mark the first step in the company's strategy to achieve 200MW of wind generation in Britain by 2012.

He said: "We are committed to developing a balanced portfolio of generation with less reliance on fossil fuels.

"Market convergence between the UK and Ireland and delivery of our low carbon strategic framework, means that ESB sees the UK as a key market.

"We are delivering on our strategic objectives to become a significant investor in the UK renewables market."

ESB has a corporate strategy to halve its carbon emissions within 12 years and achieve carbon net-zero emission by 2035 and plans to use wind farms for a large part of this.

This includes significant plans to develop or acquire wind energy projects
Overall, ESB has allocated €4bn specifically for direct investment in renewable generation projects and is active in supporting a low carbon future.

ESB currently operates over 120MW of wind generating capacity across Ireland with another 100MW in construction, with a further 200MW having planning permission and due to start construction shortly.

Luke Walsh


wind energy


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