wind farm

Wind farm to power Scottish metals sector

An international alliance of industrial businesses are planning a new £170m wind energy project.
Published: Thu 07 Sep 2017

GFG Alliance, an international grouping of businesses, which has been investing hundreds of millions of pounds in Scottish and particularly Highlands industrial development, has announced plans for multiple projects for clean and renewable energy to support manufacturing.

The latest plan involves the development of a 54-turbine wind farm with SIMEC Energy [part of GFG Alliance] in Glenshero, Scotland.

It is expected to generate up to 178MW of renewable energy, much of which will be used by GFG Alliance’s aluminium smelter, planned alloy wheels factory and steel mills in the region.

The steel for the turbines is likely to be manufactured and fabricated at these facilities.

Following investment being approved, the project will enter a consultation stage with the local community and stakeholders, culminating in a planning application being submitted next year.

Apart from the wind power plans, GFG says it aims to also upgrade existing hydro power stations serving the smelter and look at the potential of building smaller scale hydro schemes in Lochaber.

Shared ownership and lower bills

GFG Alliance has suggested there will be opportunities both for shared-ownership and discounted energy costs for local residents.

Jay Hambro, Chief Investment Officer for the GFG Alliance and Chief Executive of SIMEC Energy, said: “It would be built in an environment of zero subsidies, using steel rolled and finished in Scotland and then generate clean energy to support the Scottish metals industry.”

Bulb co-founder Hayden Wood said: "Loyalty towards a brand is often rewarded, yet households who've put their trust for years in a single energy company are being forced to subsidise others who switch every 12 months."

He added: "These latest numbers show that so-called standard tariffs no longer have the customers' best interests at heart. The Big Six need to show that they're putting customers first, instead of profits."

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