Agency gains role in forest wind projects

Ministers are to grant Forestry Commission Scotland new powers to negotiate joint ventures with the private sector to build wind farms on its land.

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 will enable the agency to become more actively involved beyond simply leasing sites to developers. A invitation to energy firms to submit expressions of interest was published on its website last week.

"Forests and open land are ideal places to explore the development of wind farms and other renewable projects in a sensitive manner," said environment secretary Richard Lochhead.

"Previously, the commission relied on approaches from developers. Due to the potential scale on offer, we wish to offer an opportunity to enter into partnerships on wind energy projects to bring about better financial returns and benefits to communities," he added.

"Estimates suggest that these projects could generate £30 million in revenue, further boosting green energy development in Scotland."

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