Construction begins on £27m offshore wind turbine tower factory

South Korean company CS Wind has started building its £27 million factory in Campeltown. The development came as it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Vattenfall which will give CS Wind UK the opportunity to tender for tower supply contracts on its future onshore wind farm projects.

Lesley Black, Head of UK Sales for CS Wind, said: “This  marks an exciting time for CS Wind with the start of significant investment in the factory,  which will ensure high quality, cost competitive towers for both on and offshore wind projects being built in the UK .

> Read Vattenfall's announcement

CfD deadline extended for Telford

Carlton Power has been given extra time by the UK Government to find the finance it needs to build a 1.9GW gas-fired power station at Trafford in Greater Manchester.

The company missed the “final commitment milestone” under its £480 million capacity market contract.

The GMB trade union had warned of an “energy crisis” after news emerged that the firm had missed its target.

> View the GMB's warning

Solar industry warns over business rates rise

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has called on ministers to stop a planned rise in business rates on commercial rooftop solar panels.
The tax rise is due to come into effect in April and could force bills up by between six and eight times.

Paul Barwell, Chief Executive at the STA, said: “This is a huge increase in the running costs of a rooftop solar installation that will affect both existing and new projects.”

> See the STA's statement

Criticisms after open-cast coal mine gets green light

Environmental groups have criticised Northumberland County Council for giving Banks Group planning permission for its open-cast coal mine at Druridge Bay.

The developer wants to extract three million tonnes of coal, sandstone and fireclay from a surface mine at Highthorn, near the village of Widdrington.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: “An opencast coal mine would damage its beauty, cause massive disruption and drive away tourists – all for the sake of a dying source of energy that is wrecking our climate.”

> See Friends of the Earth's statement

MeyGen in grid tie-up

Atlantis Resources has signed a deal with Lochend Wind Energy to allow the wind farm developer to share its grid connection.
Lochend’s four-turbine wind farm in Caithness will be able to pump power into the grid when Atlantis’s MeyGen wave tidal array is not running at full capacity.

Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive of Atlantis, said: “We believe this to be a world first, and to show that the predictability of generation from the tides can also benefit other forms of renewable energy by allowing those generators to accurately forecast and access spare grid capacity.”

A 10-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the output from the project was signed with SmartestEnergy in 2014.

> View Atlantis's announcement