Peel and UK Coal plan wind farm joint ventures

Peel and UK Coal unveiled plans today to develop 14 wind farms on UK Coal's land.

Peel subsidiary, Peel Energy, and UK Coal have signed an agreement "to identify, assess and potentially develop" wind farms on sites within UK Coal's 48,000-acre estate.

The UK Coal land includes the 1,000-acre Cutacre site at Junction 4 of the M61 near Bolton. The site is currently undergoing surface mining. When the mining completes in 2013, part of the land will be used for a business park of up to 260 acres. There is already planning permission for light industrial space on 60 acres.

Peel has a 28% stake in UK Coal and there is ongoing stockmarket speculation that Peel chairman John Whittaker will mount a bid for the company.

"Given the nature of sites attractive for wind farm development, most of the land likely to be considered for wind farms has little value for alternative commercial use," the two companies said in a statement.

The agreement states that if sites are submitted for planning permission for windfarms, Peel Energy will form special purpose companies in which UK Coal will be granted an option to acquire a 50% stake. UK Coal will grant the vehicle a 30-year lease over the relevant land at an open market rent.

There are 14 wind farm sites covered by the agreement.

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