An industry heavyweight has been appointed to lead a major expansion of a Scottish wind energy firm which is already one of the largest players in the sector.
Edinburgh-based Ventient Energy, which operates 34 wind farms UK-wide with a total capacity of nearly 690 megawatts, is targeting significant growth both in the UK and overseas.
Mark Jones, who has worked in the energy sector for almost 30 years, has been appointed as chief executive at the firm which was formed in 2017 by bringing together the portfolios of independent wind power producers Zephyr and Infinis Wind.
Jones was previously group chief executive of Dutch turbine manufacturer EWT, leading its expansion into the UK market and other territories worldwide.
He has also successfully built wind and solar businesses backed by both private and institutional capital.
Jones, who began his career working on energy at HSBC, said: “Ventient Energy is already one of the biggest independent onshore wind generators in the UK and our ambition is to grow our portfolio significantly in the coming years, both in the UK and internationally.
“Given the truly long term, perpetual nature of our investors’ capital, representing pension funds of around 25 million families, I am excited about the opportunity of growing Ventient Energy to complement its well-established core values.”
Ventient chairman Andrew Lee said Jones was the “ideal appointment” for what was a major new phase in the firm’s growth.
“He has hands-on experience in the development of renewable energy assets worldwide and his enthusiasm and drive make him a superb asset for the business.” Lee also paid tribute to outgoing chief executive Scott Mackenzie.
“He successfully led the company through the integration of the Zephyr and Infinis Wind portfolios and helped establish an excellent platform which this major new phase can build upon. We wish him every success for the future,” said Lee.
Ventient employs more than 40 staff, the majority of which are in Edinburgh. Most of the company’s 34 wind farms are in Scotland including the Farr project near Inverness which has enough capacity to power 20 per cent of the homes in the Highlands.
The company was created after the Infinis wind portfolio was acquired from Terra Firma by institutional investors advised by JP Morgan Asset Management.
Figures released earlier this month showed that renewables accounted for a third of all power generation last year, with wind providing 17 per cent of the total, solar four per cent, and biomass 11 per cent.