BT looks to the wind to power its business

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BT looks to the wind to power its business

Antony Savvas

BT is aiming to generate a quarter of its existing UK power requirements from wind farms by 2016.

The new BT wind farm scheme represents the UK's biggest corporate wind-power project outside of the energy sector.

The project, costing up to £250m, will bring together third-party funding and renewable energy partners to safeguard future supplies of clean, green energy for BT, as part of the company's ongoing strategy to reduce its carbon emissions.

BT said it is one of Britain's biggest consumers of electricity, with an annual requirement of around 0.7% of the UK's entire consumption.

BT's wind farms could generate a total of 250Mwatts of electricity - enough to meet the power needs of 122,000 homes or a city the size of Coventry, said BT.

This would prevent the release of 500,000 tonnes of Co2 each year compared with coal generation - equivalent to a quarter of a million return air trips to New York.

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 100Mwatts by 2012, equivalent to around fifty wind turbines, with the remaining 150Mwatts targeted by 2016.

Hanif Lalani, BT group finance director, said, "BT has already achieved a 60% reduction in its carbon emissions, and is committed to reducing them further to 80% by 2016. Our wind energy plans play an important part in reaching that target."

John Hutton, business, enterprise and regulatory reform minister, said, "BT's initiative is a great example of how businesses can contribute and help us meet our ambitious target to dramatically increase the amount of energy we get from renewable sources. I hope that other organisations and individuals will be inspired to match its commitment."


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