Vattenfall Vows to Step Up Renewables Investment

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

Vattenfall has confirmed plans to extend one of its Scottish wind farms, just days after the Swedish energy giant announced it is looking to invest nearly $2bn in wind projects over the coming year.

Renews reported that the company is moving forward with plans for a 16 turbine extension to its 36.9MW Clashindarroch wind farm in north east Scotland, adding 54MW of new capacity at the site.

Vattenfall said the proposed development would take advantage of recent falls in the cost of wind energy projects to deliver one of the UK’s most cost effective clean energy projects.

“The low levelised energy cost we expect on this scheme would make it fighting fit for a new regime that demands low cost generation from wind power,” UK development director for onshore wind Guy Mortimer was quoted as saying. “It’s early days for Clashindarroch II, and we still have to get a permit from the Scottish Government, but if we do, we think Clashindarroch II will be among the most competitive in the Vattenfall UK fleet.”

The UK’s onshore wind industry is keen to promote the rapid reduction in costs it has seen in recent years, as the sector is facing a tough route to market in the coming years following the British government’s controversial decision to halt subsidies for onshore wind farms.

The announcement comes just days after Vattenfall unveiled a new $3.1bn investment strategy, detailing plans to focus 60 per cent of investments over the next year on onshore and offshore wind power projects. A further $226m is expected to be invested in solar and energy storage projects, the company said.

Overall, the company is looking to add 2.3GW of renewable energy capacity to its portfolio through to 2020 as it continues to transition away from fossil fuels.

“Fossil fuels are not a viable long-term option, either for a world committed to solving the climate problem or as part of the Vattenfall of tomorrow,” chief executive Magnus Hall said.

“A more sustainable energy system is currently being created as the electricity market continues its shift towards fossil-free generation. This system is closer to customers and combines efficient, large-scale production with decentralized solutions. Today we are exceptionally well positioned to develop Vattenfall’s business in line with these trends,” he added.

In related news, Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse this week officially launched a new wind farm developed by a housing association in a bid to provide funding for new housing projects.

The three-turbine project at Hoprigshiels near Cockburnspath is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, and is expected to generate £20m over the next 25 years for the Berwickshire Housing Association, enabling the development of 500 new homes.

The scheme, which was supported by Triodos Bank and the Scottish Investment Bank’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF), was granted planning permission in 2012, allowing it to secure approval before the government changed the subsidy scheme for onshore wind energy.