John Laing Plans $76 Million Investment in Wind and Solar Energy

John Laing Plc, a U.K. developer of hospitals, schools and roads, estimates it will spend about 50 million pounds ($76 million) this year on onshore wind and photovoltaic power projects in Britain and Sweden.

The company plans to invest in five developments this year, using debt to fund 50 percent to 70 percent of each plant, Ross McArthur, head of renewable energy for London-based John Laing, said in an interview. It wants to invest in areas with different regulatory structures to reduce reliance on one kind, he said.

The company completed three wind and two solar deals last year. While it’s currently focused on northern European markets including the U.K., John Laing is able to access the Australian and North American markets through locally based teams, said Andy Harmer, head of waste and energy. This may bring opportunities over the next year to 18 months, he said.

Sweden plans to get half of its energy from clean sources by 2020, from 47 percent now, and the U.K. is aiming for 15 percent, up from about 9.4 percent. Both subsidize renewable energy by placing an obligation on electricity suppliers to buy a certain portion of their power from low-carbon sources.

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