Statkraft starts construction on Berry Burn wind farm

Statkraft has started construction on the 66.7MW Berry Burn wind farm near Inverness in Scotland, the Norwegian company revealed.

Construction work began this week, with completion scheduled for 2014, the company said. In total, Statkraft is expecting to invest £70 million during the building work.

Berry Burn is located in the north of Scotland, 30 km east of Inverness in the county of Moray, which granted consent for the project in 2009. Annual power production is expected to be in the region of 184 GWh, generated from 29 2.3MW Enercon turbines.

"The news that construction has started on the Berry Burn Wind Farm is excellent for Moray and for Scotland as a whole,” said Fergus Ewing minister for energy, enterprise and tourism in the Scottish government.

Statkraft has also agreed to set up a community benefits fund for the wind farm. “Once the wind farm is operational a fund will be established to ensure the local community shares in the financial benefits it will bring," Ewing said.

At RenewableUK’s annual conference in November, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond issued a thinly-veiled threat to wind developers that if they were not prepared to offer community benefits alongside wind farms, the government may be prepared to make it mandatory.

Statkraft has been developing the project with partner Duke Energy since 2004, and, after acquiring Duke Energy's interest in the project, now owns 100% percent of the project company, Catamount Energy.

"We are very pleased with the decision to invest in Berry Burn Wind Farm and for Statkraft to be able to continue to contribute to the realisation of Scotland's and the UK's ambitious renewable energy objectives", said Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO of Statkraft.

The wind farm is Statkraft’s second in the UK, after the inauguration of the 317MW Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm, the company’s joint venture with fellow Norwegian firm Statoil, earlier this autumn. Both wind farms form part of Statkraft’s strategy to strengthen its position in the UK energy market.

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