New £170m windfarm for the highlands

New £170m windfarm for the highlands

The GFG Alliance has announced plans to invest £170m into a new 54 turbine wind farm in the Highlands.

The GFG Alliance, which is already investing hundreds of millions of pounds in Scottish and particularly Highlands industrial development, has unveiled plans to bring further benefits to the national and local economy through multiple projects for clean and renewable energy to support manufacturing.

The latest project proposal, announced today (6 Sep), is a wind farm to be developed by SIMEC Energy of up to 54 turbines at Glenshero in the Highlands that will generate up to 178MW of energy following a total investment programme of up to £170m. 

SIMEC says the development of renewable energy across its estate lands will contribute valuable low-cost, low-carbon power for industrial schemes such as the GFG Alliance’s aluminium smelter and planned Fort William alloy wheels factory and its steel mills in Lanarkshire.

A key element of the Glenshero plan is that the steel for the required wind-tower structures could be rolled at Liberty’s Dalzell plant in Motherwell and possibly fabricated at a potential new neighbouring wind tower manufacturing facility.

Jay Hambro, chief investment officer for the GFG Alliance and chief executive of SIMEC Energy commented: “Glenshero is a unique project in our portfolio. 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. It is also an exciting opportunity for us to work with the local community and encourage their investment alongside our own. This is truly a win-win project for all parties.”

Duncan Mackison, newly-appointed chief executive of JAHAMA Highland Estates, the GFG division which manages and develops the estate lands, said: “We want to use the assets of the estate in the most productive way to maximise benefit for the local economy and residents.

“Our aim is a joined-up plan with the different elements working together. For example, the assets of the estate, in whatever form, would feed into our industrial developments to help us to be even more ambitious in our plans for new sustainable manufacturing.”

He said that GFG representatives had already undertaken extensive consultation with communities and stakeholders to identity regeneration opportunities in the Highlands, and the group was now able to share a range of exciting project options, for further discussion. 

“We will engage with all local stakeholders to bring in those interested in investment in the wind project and make sure the local area shares the potential benefit of the energy generation,” he added.

Following these discussions, GFG hopes to publish a blueprint for a revival of the estate lands and reinvigoration of the whole Highland economy. “We look forward to awakening the sleeping giant that is the JAHAMA Highland Estate.” he said.