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Construction Commences At Forss Wind Farm Extension

12th January 2007

Civil engineering work has begun to add another four turbines to the existing two-turbine Forss wind farm near Thurso in Caithness, the project owner Renewable Energy Systems Group (RES)1 announced today. The 5.2MW project is expected to be fully commissioned and delivering green power for the Caithness area by the summer of 2007 RES has developed the project with landowner and co-renewable energy developer Abbey Properties Cambridgeshire Ltd and was responsible for the development of the original two turbine project, which started generating in 2003. This project has performed above expectations on the exposed coastal location.

Director of Forss Wind Farm Limited, Stephen Balint, said; "As owners of the Forss wind farm we have been pleased with the operation of the two existing turbines and look forward to the additional turbines to add to our wind farm assets throughout the UK and Europe. We will ensure that we minimize disruption to local residents as construction gets under way and we look forward to working with the local community to support local projects with a sustainable theme through an annual community fund."

The four additional turbines will be identical in size and are Siemens 1.3MW models. Three of the four turbine foundations will be constructed on or adjacent to the old antennae bases of the former US Navy Communications Base. Construction is being managed by Renewable Energy Systems Construction Ltd and civil and ancillary works are being carried out by R J McLeod of Dingwall, who will be using local subcontractors and suppliers from across the Highlands, in line with RES's policy to employ local companies wherever possible during the construction phase. A community benefit scheme will be established and will be managed by local residents. The fund will contribute a sum of money each year for the lifetime of the wind farm to local sustainable projects that benefit the community.

Allan Johnston, Development Manager for RES with responsibility for the project added; "We are delighted to begin construction of the Forss extension, which on this excellent, windy site will generate electricity equivalent to the needs of over 2,500 homes ever year, cutting carbon dioxide emissions and enabling RES to make a further contribution to Scottish renewable energy capacity. Forss is a good example of a former brownfield site being utilized to develop a small scale wind energy project which meets Highland Council's renewable energy strategy and overcomes the grid constraints in the north of Scotland."

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