Wind wire: ESB purchase

Irish state-owned electricity utility ESB has bought two wind farms in England, taking it almost halfway to its goal of acquiring 200 MW of wind generation in the UK by 2012.

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It has purchased the consented 66 MW Fullabrook project in north Devon from M Baker Group of Exeter and the operating 24 MW West Durham wind farm in County Durham from Banks Developments. ESB expects to start construction of the 22 turbines at Fullabrook early next year. The project was granted consent following a public inquiry. When built, it will be the largest onshore wind farm in England. "We are committed to developing a balanced portfolio of generation with less reliance on fossil fuels," says ESB's head of wind development, Joe O'Mahony. "Market convergence between the UK and Ireland, and delivery of our low carbon strategic framework, means that ESB sees the UK as a key market." The company operates over 120 MW of wind power capacity across the island of Ireland, with 100 MW of projects in construction and a further 200 MW consented and expected to begin construction shortly. ESB has allocated EUR4 billion for investment in renewable generation projects.

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