BayWa r.e. has reached a milestone for itself and the UK renewable energy sector with the completion and sale of the country’s first subsidy-free windfarm to James Jones & Sons Ltd and London-based specialist asset manager, Gresham House Asset Management.
Located in Inverclyde, south of Greenock and west of Port Glasgow, the site consists of eight wind turbines and has a total capacity of 24 MW. The clean energy produced will displace more than 18,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
The Inverclyde Windfarm also marks BayWa r.e.’s first subsidy-free corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for a windfarm in the UK. Earlier this year, Tesco Stores Ltd signed a 15-year PPA as the off-taker – contributing to the retailer’s commitment to use 100 percent renewable electricity across the Tesco Group by 2030.
John Milligan, Managing Director at BayWa r.e. UK, commented: “What is so significant about this windfarm is that it will generate green electricity at market prices without any government subsidies. With renewable energy becoming the cheapest source of any form of new generation, we will see many more projects coming forward. We are also seeing more businesses sourcing electricity from renewables, which is good for them, society and our planet. This sale continues our successful relationship with Gresham House Asset Management, who we are pleased to be working with again. As the first subsidy-free windfarm in the UK, this is a significant milestone in the energy transition.”
This project sees BayWa r.e. continuing to lead the way in realising subsidy-free renewable projects, having previously developed Europe’s first subsidy-free utility-scale PV plant, Don Rodrigo in Seville, Spain, in 2018. It also continues the successful relationship with Gresham House Asset Management who previously acquired BayWa r.e.’s Wathegar 2 wind farm.
Wayne Cranstone, Investment Director at Gresham House Asset Management said: “Acquiring our first subsidy free wind farm with a long-term corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in place is a great achievement and hopefully will be the first of many if we are to help the country meet its net zero carbon emissions target.”
James Jones & Sons Ltd is the UK’s largest, most diversified, family-owned timber processor with annual sales in excess of £180 Million.
Chairman, Tom Bruce-Jones said: “James Jones & Sons is delighted to have funded this acquisition. Enhancing our environmental impact has always been a fundamental part of our Group ethos and strategy. We have been at the forefront of innovation with regards to all environmental matters for a number of years and have pioneered a number of innovative processes and systems to enhance our carbon negative credentials. This transaction strengthens our trading and investment relations with Gresham House and we will be the initial Limited Partner in the new fund.”
As part of the project, BayWa r.e. has also committed ongoing support for local communities in Inverclyde.
Alasdair Macleod, Head of Renewable Development at BayWa r.e. UK, explains: “The renewable transition is about more than generating green power. There is also a whole green socio-economic transition that is taking place. For this project, we are delighted to have entered into a long-term Community Benefit Agreement with ‘Inverclyde Community Fund’ (ICF). ICF is a charitable trust that makes grants to support Inverclyde's voluntary and community sector. We see this as an excellent model for delivering Community Benefit across a wide area, such as Inverclyde.”
The Inverclyde Windfarm continues BayWa r.e.’s growth in the UK, further developing its extensive portfolio of wind and solar projects across the country. To date, the company has developed and/or managed 232 projects in the UK with 685 MW installed and 2400 MW managed – all helping to contribute to the UK Government’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
This year BayWa r.e. entered the offshore wind space, after signing an exclusive agreement to join the existing consortium of Ideol and Elicio to prepare a joint bid for Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind tender. In 2021, the company will also begin construction on two new onshore windfarms in South Lanarkshire and the Scottish Borders.