Barclays backs wind farm

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BARCLAYS BANK is backing an pounds 11.5m wind farm at Coal Clough near Burnley in Lancashire that will provide enough electricity to supply 7,500 homes. The generating plant is being built by Wind Resources, in which the main partners are South Western Electricity and Manweb.

Barclays, which is supplying 80 per cent of the project finance over six years, said the technology for Coal Clough had been tried and tested in continental Europe. The bank has already lent pounds 18.5m to wind farms being built by another group in Wales and Cornwall.

Wind Resources has built a wind farm at Carland Cross in Cornwall and hopes to have Coal Clough operating by February next year. The 24-turbine plant, for which all necessary planning permission has been obtained, will have a capacity of 9.6 megawatts.

Renewable energy projects that are deemed suitable by the Department of Trade and Industry can obtain a subsidy to enable them to compete with traditional fuels.

The subsidy is in the form of a levy on electricity generated from fossil fuels and amounts to about 11 per cent on electricity bills. The great bulk of the levy, however, goes to nuclear power.