In a major boost for the onshore wind power industry, Britain’s first green energy company Ecotricity and global construction and development firm Skanska are forming a joint venture – called Skylark – to build wind farm projects in Britain.
Skylark will draw on the expertise of Ecotricity in developing green energy projects through planning, while Skanska will utilise their expertise in construction and engineering.
The joint venture will aim to put 350MW of new green energy projects into planning system in the first 5 years, which would represent a potential investment of £500million should the projects be consented, supplying green electricity to 200,000 homes.
Three development sites have already been identified for Skylark’s first round of investment, representing around 100MW of generating capacity, with the target of delivering new renewable energy capacity for Britain as early as 2018.
Skylark will also create a range of new jobs, from planning experts through to scientific, technical, construction and maintenance roles.
Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “Ecotricity were the world’s first green electricity company, while Skanska aims to be the greenest construction company in the world – our shared pursuit of sustainability and our complementary skill sets creates a strong partnership.
“Ecotricity will use its expertise in green energy development to design wind parks and gain planning consents, while Skanska will use their expertise in construction to build them.
“It’s a simple partnership that will help to bring energy independence to Britain using green energy made in Britain.”
Ecotricity is a ‘not-for-dividend’ enterprise that operates a unique ‘bills into mills’ business model – that uses customers’ energy bills to fund the building of new sources of green energy.
Dale Vince said: “This joint venture with Skanska will help Ecotricity further advance the mission we already pursue with the support of our customers – changing the way energy is made in Britain so we can all live more sustainable lives.”
Skanska Infrastructure Development EVP, Steve Cooper said: “At Skanska, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Wherever we work, we strive to push forward the green agenda in construction and infrastructure development. Our green agenda, together with our wish to build what society needs, help to define us as a company.”
In March, Skanska was awarded FT ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Award in the category corporate responsibility and environment. The jury pointed out how Skanska “champions sustainability throughout its value chain and incorporates environmental concerns into every aspect of its design.”
As one of the world’s leading construction groups, Skanska carry out all aspects of the construction and development, as well as investment. Their track record includes major projects in Britain for over the past 10 years, including large PFI contracts such as Barts & The London Hospitals and the M25. They have also built two large wind farms in their native Sweden.