Banks really are coining it in…

…and we don’t mean Banks Rewewables believe it or not!

A simple internet search has revealed that Yorkshire Water is part of the Kelda Group, which was acquired in 2008 by the ‘Saltaire Water Global Infrastructure Fund’.  This entity is a consortium made up of organisations including HSBC, Infracapital, Citigroup and GIC (the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation).

‘So what?’ I hear you ask. Well there are 2 issues to be aware of;

1) Some of the profits being generated now are making their way across to the bankers, some of which aren’t even in this country.  HSBC have already sold their stake to the other members of the consortium, making Citi Infrastructure Investors the majority stakeholder at 47%.  Also, the holding company, Kelda Holdings Ltd is actually based in Jersey, where many UK businesses seek respite from the high levels of tax payable in their own country.

2) Yorkshire Water owns 80,000 acres of land, thus is one of the region’s largest land owners.  That’s alot of wind turbines they could install across the region.  Bearing in mind that Yorkshire Water was originally born from privatisation, this is land that was basically gifted to them in the 1980′s.

So the moral of the story is… don’t think that Yorkshire Water will not try to make the most of their land.  As well as looking at developing a wind farm at Thornton Moor, they are currently exploring the possibility of erecting 24 turbines in the Harrogate area.  They have already erected turbines at Loftsome Bridge Treatment works in Hull, Ovenden Moor is due for repowering soon, and planning permission is currently being sought for a 85m turbine at Graincliffe Reservoir in Bingley.  We would think that they may also appeal to have turbines erected at Chelker Reservoir near Bolton Abbey, and Thornton Steward in Wensleydale.

We would imagine that one Kelda company, Kelda Eurobond, having directors with many other directorships in wind farm companies may be the drive behind their strategy.  One example is James Cooper, who has at least 9 wind farm directorships under his belt.

Despite the above information, there still lies a very important question…

What does YW/Kelda/Saltaire Water or whatever they want to call themselves, stand to gain by leasing their land to another developer, when they are more than capable of developing their own windfarm, as currently being demonstrated in Harrogate?  It cannot be that they are afraid of backlash from their proposals, because the ‘Save the Dales’ campaign is giving them a run for their money, just as is TMWAG to Banks.  It could be that they are perhaps trying to give the illusion that it is someone else subitting the contentious proposals for Thornton Moor, after all, they are choosing contentious sites elsewhere, and to add another contentious site to their list could be a PR nightmare… couldn’t it?

If you have any ideas, answers on a postcard please!!

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