Simec Energy, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, said it took a step towards “becoming the UK’s largest provider of renewable energy” by agreeing to acquire Green Highland Renewables (GHR), one of the UK’s most prominent green power generators, from Ancala Partners.
The purchase of GHR from Ancala Partners includes 18 hydro-electric power stations in the Scottish Highlands and a team of 17 engineers, operators and designers.
In addition to the 18 existing power stations in GHR, Simec said it will develop a further eight hydro power plants on its Lochaber Highland estate lands, with the planning process due to start in 2018.
Simec Energy also announced plans to build a total of one gigawatt of renewable power generation capacity in the UK within three years, supporting fellow GFG company Liberty Steel’s ambitious target to develop five million tonnes of low-carbon ‘‘Greensteel’’ production in the UK within five years.
Simec is already one of the UK’s largest hydro power operators, including in its portfolio the Lochaber and Kinlochleven stations with a total capacity of over 100 megawatts.
GHR started in 2007 and its teams based in Perth and Dingwall have built a strong reputation for engineering expertise and close working with local communities living around hydro projects.
The company has delivered over 45 hydro schemes internationally, many of which it continues to operate and maintain.
Jay Hambro, GFG Alliance chief investment officer and chief executive of Simec Energy said: “We are rising to the challenge of delivering one gigawatt green energy capacity to power UK industrial growth.
“That will double the size of Simec’s existing portfolio. We are already one of the UK’s largest producers of hydro power and, with this transaction, we will expand our hydro capacity even further.
“We are delighted to welcome the excellent Green Highland Renewables team to the GFG family.
“They enjoy an enviable track record in building and operating hydro power assets.
“Hydro is a crucial element of our renewable energy strategy and GHR is a world leader in developing and operating this technology.
“Whether building new assets in Scotland or helping our initiatives in Australia, they will provide the expertise and resource we need in hydro power.”
Sanjeev Gupta, GFG executive chairman said: “We are delighted to have agreed this deal at the same time as the publication of the UK Government’s white paper on industrial strategy because we intend to be a standard bearer for ‘clean growth’’ in the economy.
“That link between energy and industry has been at the heart of our own low-carbon Greensteel strategy for years and we are greatly encouraged to see public policy moving in the same direction.”
Simec is also currently consulting with local communities in the Highlands on a plan for a £170 million wind farm at Glenshero which is designed to generate 164 MW of power.
This project will be Britain’s first large scale subsidy free wind farm.
A planning application for this development is due to be submitted in Spring 2018.