GDF Suez buys UK developer WCE

French utility GDF Suez has dramatically boosted its presence in the UK onshore wind sector by buying developer West Coast Energy (WCE).

Wales-based WCE has developed 650MW of UK wind and has a 200MW development pipeline, said a GDF Suez statement.

The French group currently owns seven UK wind farms totalling 70MW, it added. The two companies have co-developed six wind projects since 2008.

Steve Riley, CEO of GDF Suez Energy UK-Europe said: "The West Coast Energy team have significant experience in wind energy development that will complement our existing in-house expertise in structuring, financing, building and managing projects in the UK market.

“This acquisition gives us an opportunity to increase our presence in renewables in the UK via high quality projects.”

WCE also has a division exploring opportunities in solar, according to its website.