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UK COAL TO BUILD WIND FARMS ON OLD COLLIERIES – SHARES IN BRITAIN’S LARGEST COALMINING COMPANY RISE 10% ON BACK OF PLANS TO BUILD WIND FARMS ON FORMER PIT LAND

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

Thursday November 13 2008 15.53 GMT

by Terry Macalister – guardian.co.uk

Over a dozen of the UK’s former coalmining sites are to be redeveloped as wind farms under a UK Coal aims to construct 54 wind turbines on sites once used for coal mining. Photograph - Sandy Huffaker - APrevolutionary energy scheme to turn old energy into new.

UK Coal, once the main part of the National Coal Board, has unveiled a joint venture with Peel Energy that would see 14 old colliery locations used to erect 54 turbines generating around 133MW of electric power.

Shares in UK Coal raced forward 10% in early trading as the City welcomed the initiative.

“We believe there is significant opportunity to develop wind farms on parts of our land portfolio. By allying with Peel Energy, we are joining forces with one of the UK’s most active and knowledgeable wind power companies,” said John Lloyd, the chief executive of UK Coal.

The company, which has already moved into renewables through the harnessing of methane gas for power, was unwilling to say which of the 14 sites are currently earmarked for early submission for planning permission but says it hopes to have some approved within three months.

Peel Energy already boasts an onshore wind portfolio in excess of 450MW already and is involved in England’s largest scheme at Scout Moor in Lancashire which has 26 turbines.

The company, whose parent group owns a considerable financial stake in UK Coal and which independently operates a series of ports around Britain is developing Royal Seaforth Dock wind farm in Liverpool and has a planning application in for the port of Sheerness wind farm.

Peel and UK Coal intend to create special purpose vehicles with a 50/50 shared ownership between them to develop a particular former colliery site for wind schemes. The coal mining group could grant the joint venture an option for a 30 year lease on the land.

“This agreement [with UK Coal] is an important step forward for Peel Energy, significantly expanding its Greenwich Power Station from Royal Observatoryonshore pipeline and gaining access to some of the UK’s best wind farm locations,” said Steven Underwood, director of Peel Energy.

Chris Millington, analyst at stockbroker Numis Securities described the deal as positive, saying Peel would bring expertise and capital to UK Coal’s innovative wind farm activities. “I think this is pretty good,” he said.

UK Coal owns 46,500 acres of land and has identified over 3,500 of it for new development but also still operates six active surface mines with an annual output in excess of 1.5m tonnes.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

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