SIMEC Energy has agreed to buy Green Highland Renewables in what it says is a step towards becoming the UK’s largest renewable energy provider.

SIMEC has also announced plans to build one gigawatt of renewable power generation capacity in the UK within three years.

The purchase of GHR –  a prominent ‘green power’ developer and generator – from Ancala Partners is expected to complete by the end of February 2018. The deal includes 18 hydro-electric power stations in the Scottish Highlands and a team of 17 engineers, operators and designers.

SIMEC will also develop a further eight hydro power plants on its Lochaber Highland estate, with planning due to get underway next year.

The company is also consulting with communities in the Highlands on a proposed £170 million windfarm in Glenshero that would generate 164MW of power. The project would be the UK’s first large scale subsidy-free wind farm.

SIMEC is part of the global GFG Alliance. Fellow GFG company Liberty Steel recently announced its ambition to develop five million tonnes of low-carbon ‘greensteel’ production  in the UK within five years, further supporting the government’s clean growth strategy.

Jay Hambro, GFG Alliance’s chief investment officer and chief executive of SIMEC Energy, said: “We are rising to the challenge of delivering one gigawatt green energy capacity to power the UK’s industrial growth. That will double the size of SIMEC’s existing portfolio.

“We are already one of the UK’s largest producers of hydro power and, with this transaction, we will expand out hydro capacity even further.”

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