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London Electricity invests in renewables buying wind portfolio
1 April 2002
London Electricity (LE) Group has recently invested £6.5 million in renewables. It bought Northern Electric's wind power portfolio for £3.5 million and agreed to invest £3 million in Marine Current Turbines Ltd to research underwater turbines to harness tidal stream currents. Its acquisition from Northern Electric comprises two operational wind clusters in north east England at Kirkheaton and High Hedley Hope, a proposed offshore wind farm off Teesside -- known as Northern Offshore Wind Limited -- and further onshore development opportunities in northern England. The two wind projects total 4 MW, but the portfolio has a potential output of up to 115 MW. There is no immediate scope from the transaction for helping LE Group meet its renewables obligation; Kirkheaton and High Hedley Hope are Non Fossil Fuel Obligation projects, so their output is auctioned off twice yearly by the Non Fossil Purchasing Agency and cannot be converted into Renewables Obligation Certificates. Northern Electric sold its renewable generating assets because, it claims, they no longer fit with its core distribution business since it separated from its supply business. LE Group says its acquisition of further generating assets are in line with the wishes of its parent, Electricité de France, that the company be involved in all elements of the electricity chain. "These are important additions to our generation portfolio adding further diversity to our generation assets," says Angus Norman from London Power Company, LE Group's generation arm. "Our portfolio already includes our Norfolk Offshore Wind project, and the addition of the Northern projects means that we are now one of the most significant offshore wind power developers in the country." Indeed, LE Group is now the only company to be involved with more than one of the UK's 18 initial offshore projects. When applying for a seabed lease from Crown Estate, developers were limited to involvement in one project only.
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