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Statkraft UK Moot Wireless Broadband Rollout from Wind Farms

Friday, September 27th, 2019 (7:56 am) - Score 827
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The UK division of Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, Statkraft, has confirmed that they’re conducting feasibility studies into the idea of building superfast Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband ISP networks on their future wind farms in Scotland, which could be used to improve coverage in remote rural areas.

At present the Norwegian company already operates a number of wind farms across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (here). Since 2006, Statkraft has also invested £1.4 billion into the UK’s renewable energy infrastructure and facilitated over 6GW of new-build renewable energy generation through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

The company, which just opened new HQ in Glasgow, are now planning to build a number of new wind farms in Scotland and that’s likely to spell good news for nearby communities. Such developments often include special community investment funds for those living close to their sites (e.g. we’ve seen some wind farms where this reflects a 15km radius around the site), which can be invested into local projects.

In keeping with that we’ve recently reported on a number of cases where wind farm operators have agreed to help fund new wireless broadband networks for rural communities (e.g. here and here) and Statkraft now appear to be proposing a similar approach for all their planned new sites.

David Flood, MD of Statkraft UK, said (Herald Scotland):

“We are regularly asked by communities near our projects if we can help with broadband coverage and so we are committing to investing in feasibility studies at the early planning stage for our future projects. The result could be enhanced wireless broadband provision where we have wind farms.”

At this stage the language being used is still more reflective of an aspiration than a solid decision to actually build and support future wireless broadband networks, although we’re seeing a lot more projects like this and it seems likely that Statkraft will follow a similar mould.

However, in some areas it may make more sense to help co-fund upgrades to “full fibre” (FTTP) style networks, such as alongside existing Gigabit broadband voucher schemes, which we hope will also be considered. One such project has already occurred in Ross-shire, Scotland (here).

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar Sally

    I am loving the way wind farms are starting to provide for communities financially and resourcefully – this is another brilliant Idea!

  2. Avatar SuperFast Dream

    No-one gave me any credit when I came up with the idea last year 🙁

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