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The GFG Alliance, which is already investing hundreds of millions of pounds in Scottish and particularly Highlands industrial development, has unveiled plans to bring further benefits to the national and local economy through multiple projects for clean and renewable energy to support manufacturing.
The latest project proposal, announced today, is a wind farm to be developed by SIMEC Energy of up to 54 turbines at Glenshero in the Highlands that will generate up to 178MW of energy following a total investment programme of up to £170m.
SIMEC says the development of renewable energy across its estate lands will contribute valuable low-cost, low-carbon power for industrial schemes such as the GFG Alliance’s aluminium smelter and planned Fort William alloy wheels factory and its steel mills in Lanarkshire.
A key element of the Glenshero plan is that the steel for the required wind-tower structures could be rolled at Liberty’s Dalzell plant in Motherwell and possibly fabricated at a potential new neighbouring wind tower manufacturing facility.
Community and stakeholder involvement will be key to the project. Now that investment for the wind project has been given the green light by the GFG Strategy Board, it will proceed to the next step of consultation with the local community and a range of stakeholders, culminating in a planning application being submitted next year. GFG will also be seeking to bring the local community into the project with opportunities both for shared-ownership and discounted energy costs for local residents.
In addition to the wind energy project, the global GFG Alliance, which owns the Fort William aluminium smelter and associated hydro power stations, has also unveiled a broad spectrum of ideas for the use of its surrounding estate lands. These promise to add many more jobs to the hundreds of industrial posts it has already announced for the area.