Electricity from a controversial wind farm in the Borders has been bought by BT and is enough to power the communication giant’s entire operations in Scotland, writes Bob Burgess.
Campaigners against the construction of the 48-turbine farm at Fallago Rig in the Lammermuirs near Oxton lost a six-year battle to stop the development.
They conceded defeat when Lord McEwan rejected their call for a judicial review into approval granted to North British Windpower.
The company later sold its share in Fallago Rig to EDF for an undisclosed sum. And this week BT confirmed it was buying half of the energy produced by the farm in a deal worth around £300million over the next 20 years.
Brendan Dick, BT’s Scotland director, commented: “It is fantastic that all our Scottish infrastructure and estate will be matched with energy from renewable sources in Scotland in a deal which gives us long-term price certainty.
“Our deal reinforces our commitment to make a positive contribution to society and the environment. It’s also a huge vote of confidence in Scottish renewable energy.”
Scotland’s energy minister, Fergus Ewing, has welcomed the deal.
He said: “It is great news for Scotland and the environment that a company the size of BT is taking a local and sustainable approach to sourcing its electricity in Scotland from renewable and low-carbon sources. It also secures generation at the site for the long-term future.”
Fallago Rig is the fifth largest onshore wind farm in the UK and is majority-owned by Hermes GPE Infrastructure. EDF has a minority holding and will continue to manage the Lammermuir site.