United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Atomic Energy Authority's research into wind sold to NGT, Scotland

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Dounreay, home to Britain's prototype fast breeder nuclear reactor, has dropped its research into wind energy. The Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) had been looking into wind and other renewables to diversify away from its nuclear business and save some jobs and help cushion the blow when the reactor closed at the end of March. However, according to Nicholas Parsons from the AEA, the company has been undergoing a restructuring. This leaves Dounreay in the public sector, looking after the nuclear liabilities, while non-nuclear parts of the company are prepared for a move towards the private sector. "Although we were engaged in preliminary research into wind power, we didn't feel it our place to develop it commercially," says Parsons. Equipment and results from research undertaken so far have been sold to former Dounreay engineer Mike Davies. He left AEA in 1993 to start a new company, NGT Scotland. He is now taking forward plans for a 10 MW wind farm at the Hill of Forss near Dounreay which AEA had initiated. He has bid this site, together with half a dozen others, into the Scottish Renewables Obligation for a premium price contract. NGT Scotland -- whose parent company is the Danish investment company NGT Group -- also offers equity financing for other British renewables projects.

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