A new office opened in Inverness today (Friday, April 26th 2013) will spearhead a £390 million investment programme in the Highlands by ABO Wind, one of Europe’s most experienced wind energy developers.
The new office, located at the Green House, Beechwood Park North in Inverness was opened officially by Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Government minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism in a ceremony attended by business, energy, political and academic leaders.
Originating in Germany, ABO Wind first entered the UK market in 2006, establishing an office in Livingston, West Lothian. Now, ABO Wind plans to bring forward an initial five wind farm projects in the Highlands over the next three years. Details on the first two projects will be announced later this year.
The successful development of the ABO Wind Highlands programme will involve a total investment of £390 million, with the company’s management highlighting at the opening ceremony, significant beneficial impacts on the Highlands economy, local supply chains and local communities across the area, including the potential for £32.5 million in Community Benefit support, as well as local ownership potential into these projects.
The company’s Inverness office is projected to employ up to six staff within the next two years, covering design engineering, operations and maintenance support and project development, as well as supporting local employment in the supply chain. A programme for work experience placements and internships will also be launched, aimed at local graduates.
ABO Wind has already developed one wind farm in the Highlands, near Lairg in Sutherland, where three wind turbines, located on the common grazings of the Lairg Estate, have been operational since January 2012. The company is also currently pursuing wind farm developments in North Lanarkshire, the Borders, Argyll, Perth and Kinross and Devon.
Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing said, “In Scotland we have set ourselves the challenging target to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand from renewable energy by 2020 with the interim target of 50 per cent by 2015. With the expansion of companies like ABO Wind in Scotland it gives a clear message of the development and pledge to invest in renewable energy.
“Today it has been a pleasure to meet with staff at ABO and to open their new office in Inverness. ABO Wind AG is one of Europe’s most experienced onshore wind energy developers and their commitment to community development, community land ownership and community wind energy development and investment in projects is to be commended.”
Matt Braund, Project development Manager, ABO Wind said, “This is an exciting time in the development of ABO Wind and we are especially grateful to Fergus Ewing for his support in performing the official opening of our new Inverness office. Based on our successful experience developing the Lairg wind farm, we believe there is excellent potential for further developments in the Highlands, provided they are carefully located and well designed, with a high level of local business and community involvement.”