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Hotbed reaches GBP4.2m second close on new investment in wind turbine venture

Burcote Wind’s management team has a proven track record in identifying and acquiring suitable sites for wind turbine farms, and developing them to planning permission stage. The company currently has options or exclusivity agreements over 11 sites, with a combined potential generating capacity of 495MW, capable of powering around 383,000 homes and equivalent to the output of a traditional coal-fired power plant.

In 2009, Hotbed members provided GBP3.3m of funding to Burcote Wind to identify, acquire and develop suitable sites.  More sites were found than initially anticipated, and the further round of capital-raising will fund the development of the additional sites.  The final target for fundraising is GBP5.7 million.
 
The UK Government has set a target to generate at least 15% of the UK’s energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020, up from just 3% currently.  This target is driving strong demand from electricity companies for renewable energy projects.
 
Russell Pope, Chief Investment Officer at Hotbed, says: “The recent tragedy in Japan underlines the urgency of expanding the UK’s renewable energy capacity as a means of diversifying the UK’s energy resources and combating climate change.  Nuclear capacity in the UK is due to decrease from 18% to 3% of generated output over the next 10 to 15 years, whilst at the same time opposition to building extra nuclear capacity to make up this shortfall is bound to increase.”
 
“But although we are currently some way short of the Government’s renewables target, that does not mean that any renewables project will automatically be given the green light, or even be economically viable.  That’s why Burcote’s established track record in identifying and sensitively selecting sites with the best wind resource, right access to the national grid and the best possible chance of getting planning approval is so important.”
 
Burcote Wind is focusing on identifying sites in Scotland, where the Scottish Executive has increased its targets to achieve a minimum of the country’s energy consumption from renewable sources from 50% to 80% in 2020.
 
The Burcote Wind team’s previous venture, identified a suitable site for a wind farm in Stirlingshire, Scotland.  Over three years, Scotia Wind engaged with the local community and other key stakeholders including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the local authority and Scottish National Heritage to explain plans for the site and negotiate the necessary access.  The Scottish National Executive gave final planning approval for the site in May 2008, and it was sold, with planning permission, for over GBP16 million.
 
Graham Brown at Burcote Wind, says: “Wind energy is the most established and proven form of renewable energy and hence one of the fastest growing energy technologies in the world. Onshore wind power has grown by 158% in the UK over the past 5 years.” 
 
“We are focussed on Scotland because it is Europe’s windiest country and holds an estimated 25% of Europe’s harvestable wind resource.  It is also less densely populated than the rest of the UK, meaning that impact on local communities can be reduced, which, allied to the Scottish Governments ambitious renewable energy targets, increases the chances of achieving planning consent.”

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