THE German renewables company which has won planning permission for a controversial wind farm near Hawick announced yesterday that it will be the first wind farm in Scotland built without a state subsidy.

In an announcement, AG said the 48 MW Pines Burn development of 12 turbines with total heights of between 130 and 150 metres would be ready for for construction next year.

In a major development for the Scottish onshore wind industry, the company said the development would be subsidy-free, and claimed it would be the first such wind farm in Scotland following its success in building a wind farm without subsidy in Yorkshire.

Peter Szabo, chief executive of Energiekontor AG, said: “After having initiated construction of the first subsidy-free wind farm in the UK, Withernwick II, this is an important step towards the gradual implementation of our Scottish pipeline in the coming years. We would like to congratulate our team in the UK on this remarkable success.”

According to the company’s statement yesterday the Pines Burn development sees Energiekontor engaged in advanced negotiations with a major international company as a potential partner for a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA).

Szabo added: “Energiekontor has built up a significant project pipeline in Scotland over the past few years, where the conditions for developing wind farms are extremely good.

“The projects are large in size, and the wind speeds here at altitudes of 80 to 100 metres above ground level are speeds that are otherwise only found offshore.

“The planned PPAs form the economic basis for setting up wind farms in Scotland.

“This will help us to do without state subsidies, and will further strengthen Scotland as our second regional pillar in addition to the German market.

“Further markets are the Netherlands, France and the US, as well as the expansion of our solar business.

“Here, too, our medium-term goal is to reduce the costs of generating power with wind farms and solar parks to such an extent that we will be below the levelised cost of electricity of coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

“This is our contribution to the vision of covering 100 percent of all energy needs from renewable sources.”