Communications solutions and services provider BT has announced plans to develop wind farms aimed at generating up to 25% of its existing UK electricity requirements by 2016.

The project, costing up to GBP250 million, will bring together third-party funding and renewable energy partners to safeguard future supplies of clean, green energy for BT, as part of the company’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions.

BT is currently identifying high wind-yield sites on or adjacent to BT-owned land for development, with the aim of generating power from 2012 onwards. BT confirmed that it has applied for planning permission for test masts at Goonhilly satellite earth station in Cornwall, Wideford Hill radio station in Orkney and Scousburgh radio station in Shetland.

Subject to planning consent and suitable sites being secured, BT’s wind farms will have a total installed generating capacity of around 100MW by 2012, equivalent to around 50 wind turbines, with the remaining 150MW targeted by 2016.

Hanif Lalani, BT Group’s finance director, said: There is a pressing need for industry to cut carbon in ways that make business sense. BT has already achieved a 60% reduction in its carbon emissions, and is committed to reducing them further to 80% by 2016. Our wind energy plans play an important part in reaching that target.