BT Announces $500 M in Wind Power Plans for United Kingdom

BT Group, the London-based telecommunications and broadband internet provider, unveiled plans on Thursday to develop wind farms aimed at generating up to 25 percent of its existing UK electricity requirements by 2016. The wind farm scheme represents the UK’s biggest corporate wind power project outside of the energy sector.

The project, costing up to £250 million [US$508 million], will bring together third party funding and renewable energy partners. One of Britain’s biggest consumers of electricity, with an annual requirement of around 0.7 per cent of the UK’s entire consumption, the company’s wind farms could generate a total of 250 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

Subject to planning consent and suitable sites being secured, BT’s wind farms would have a total installed generating capacity of around 100 MW by 2012, equivalent to around fifty wind turbines, with the remaining 150 MW targeted by 2016.

Hanif Lalani, BT Group Finance Director, said: “There is a pressing need for industry to cut carbon in ways that make business sense. BT has already achieved a 60 per cent reduction in its carbon emissions, and is committed to reducing them further to 80 per cent by 2016. Our wind energy plans play an important part in reaching that target.

The company is currently identifying high wind-yield sites on or adjacent to BT-owned land for development with the aim of generating power from 2012 onwards. It was confirmed today that BT has applied for planning permission for test masts in Cornwall, Orkney and Shetland.

John Hutton MP, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform said: “BT’s initiative is a great example of how businesses can contribute and help us meet our ambitious target to dramatically increase the amount of energy we get from renewable sources. I hope that other organizations and individuals will be inspired to match their commitment.”

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