BT has taken the wraps off a £250m project to develop wind farms aimed at generating up to 25 per cent of its existing UK electricity requirements by 2016.
The wind farm scheme represents the UK’s biggest corporate wind power project outside of the energy sector.
BT is currently identifying high wind-yield sites on or adjacent to BT-owned land for development with the aim of generating power from 2012 onwards. BT has applied for planning permission for test masts at Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station in Cornwall, Wideford Hill Radio Station in Orkney and Scousburgh Radio Station in Shetland.
Subject to planning consent and suitable sites being secured, BT’s wind farms would have a total installed generating capacity of around 100MW by 2012, equivalent to around fifty wind turbines, with the remaining 150MW targeted by 2016.
BT is one of Britain’s biggest consumers of electricity, with an annual requirement of around 0.7 per cent of the UK’s entire consumption. BT’s wind farms could generate a total of 250MW of electricity – enough to meet the power needs of 122,000 homes or a city the size of Coventry.
‘There is a pressing need for industry to cut carbon in ways that make business sense. BT has already achieved a 60 per cent reduction in its carbon emissions, and is committed to reducing them further to 80 per cent by 2016. Our wind energy plans play an important part in reaching that target,’ said Hanif Lalani, BT group finance director.