Green GECCO GmbH & Co. KG signed a contract to take over the Scottish onshore wind farm An Suidhe. The wind farm, which has an installed output of approx. 20 megawatts, is the first project to be launched under Green GECCO, a joint venture set up by 26 municipal utilities and RWE Innogy in April 2010. Developed and built by RWE Innogy, An Suidhe is based in Argyll & Bute, on the Scottish west coast – one of the highest wind speed locations in Europe. The wind farm has 23 Enercon turbines which are all in the 800 or 900 kilowatt categories. Construction started in January 2009. The first turbines started in autumn this year and are already feeding electricity into the grid. Final completion of the wind farm is expected to take place at the end of the year, when the Green GECCO consortium will take over the facility as a turnkey project.
“The Scottish wind farm An Suidhe – our first Green GECCO project – has got off to a very good start. Our joint venture has made something possible that could never have been achieved by any of the local utilities on their own. Operating on an international scale, we are in a position to buy wind farms in places where the wind is much stronger than in a given supply area. By doing so, we can ensure a high electricity yield and good environmental benefits. This enables us gradually to build up a broad renewables-based power plant portfolio that draws on a variety of renewable sources,” says Dr. Norbert Ohlms, Managing Director of Green GECCO and representative of the municipal utilities that are partners under the project.
By 2020 Green GECCO GmbH & Co. KG is planning to invest about a billion euros in the production of heat and electricity from renewable resources. Collaboration covers German and European projects in the areas of onshore wind power, biomass, geothermal energy, biogas, water and solar thermal energy.
Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, Chief Executive Officer of RWE Innogy, says: “Green GECCO is picking up speed, but this is just the beginning. Quite recently, for instance, we offered our Green GECCO partners another joint venture project: our biogas plant in Gutergluck in eastern Germany. The plant has operated successfully since August 2009 and produces up to 50,000 megawatt-hours of biogas per year. After enhancing it to the quality level of natural gas, we are feeding it into the public gas grid, to local cogeneration facilities.”
Any of the the Green GECCO companies are welcome to propose renewable energy projects for inclusion in the joint venture portfolio. Moreover, RWE Innogy has committed itself to offering all new 100% RWE Innogy projects in the above mentioned areas in Germany to Green GECCO for the next two years. The inclusion of a new project requires 75% consent from the project partners.
Joint venture for the production of renewable energy
In April 2010, 26 municipal utilities and RWE Innogy joined forces under the Green GECCO joint venture and decided to push ahead with the development and implementation of projects in the production of renewable energy. The 26 municipal utilities and regional energy suppliers formed a dedicated holding company which owns 49 per cent of the Green GECCO joint venture, while the remaining 51 per cent of shares are held by RWE Innogy, the renewable energies company within the RWE Group.