Infinis Energy chief ‘not worried’ about threat to end onshore wind subsidy as company presses forward with new Scottish wind farm projects

Ian Marchant
Ian Marchant

Infinis Energy plc – an independent UK generator of renewable power which also owns and operates a number of wind farms in Scotland – has reported a profit of £20.7 million to the year ending 31 March 2015.

This compares to a loss of £11.8 million the previous year. In only its second year as a listed company, Infinis Energy exported a total of 2.5 TWh of renewable power across its landfill gas and onshore wind power plants.

Revenues for the year of £236 million were down 1% compared to 2014, due in part to a lower  contribution from wind farms because of lower wind speeds;

However the company – chaired by former SSE chief executive Ian Marchant – says it is well on its way to deliver on our growth commitments in onshore wind, with 43MW of new wind plant capacity currently in construction and 66MW expected to reach financial close ‘shortly’

After putting the development on hold pending the outcome of Scotland’s Independence referendum last year, Marchant said: “Construction of the 43MW A’Chruach wind farm in Argyll & Bute is progressing well and full commissioning of the farm is still expected by March 2016.

“We expect to announce that Galawhistle wind farm in South Lanarkshire has reached financial close shortly and that final design of the site has enabled us to increase the installed capacity from 55 to 66 MW.

“Pre-construction work has already started on site to accommodate grid works to be undertaken this summer by Scottish Power Transmission. With grid energisation scheduled for the end of September 2016, the project remains on track to achieve full commissioning well in advance of the March 2017 RO deadline.

The balance of our 130 to 150 MW pipeline to be built under the RO by March 2017 is expected to come from the combination of Sisters wind farm in Northumberland, the A’Chruach extension and one more site, all of which are expected to move to full construction stage by the end of this year.”

Meanwhile Marchant also commented: “The recent general election has created many headlines over the past few months but it is the substance now that needs to be dealt with by the new Conservative government.

“There has been more debate about the role of onshore wind developments but, based on the evidence, we remain convinced of the role that onshore wind has to play in the UK energy mix as the lowest cost, clean renewable energy technology.

“We believe our current wind construction projects will be unaffected by any future policy changes and the Conservatives have said that any change to the support mechanisms for onshore wind would be implemented over the lifetime of this Parliament.

“We hope that the new government will focus on ensuring there is greater regulatory certainty, rationality of debate and delivery of affordable renewable electricity in the years up to 2020 and beyond.”

The significant fall in oil prices during 2014 resulted in lower gas and wholesale power prices. Much of the impact on wholesale power prices in the last financial year and the new financial year has been mitigated due to Infinis Energy’s contracting strategy. However, should oil prices remain at current levels for a number of years then clearly this will have an adverse impact on the performance in future years.

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