John Whittaker’s Peel Group has teamed up with UK Coal to develop 14 wind farms on UK Coal’s land.

The two companies said this morning that Peel subsidiary, Peel Energy, and UK Coal had signed a collaboration agreement, ‘which provides a framework to identify, assess and potentially develop’ wind farms on sites within UK Coal's land portfolio.

Peel Group has built up a 28% stake in UK Coal, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The agreement relates only to wind farm development and has no impact on UK Coal’s mining and property businesses, the companies said.

Given the nature of sites attractive for wind farm development, most of the land likely to be considered for wind farms has little value for alternative commercial use,’ they added.

Initially, the agreement provides Peel Energy with a two-year period of exclusivity to identify and evaluate sites.

If a site is submitted for planning permission, a special purpose company will be formed by Peel Energy, and UK Coal will be granted an option to acquire a 50% equity share.

At the same time UK Coal will grant the special purpose company an option for a 30-year lease over the relevant land at an open market rent.

There are 14 wind farm sites covered by the agreement.

These projects are at varying stages of development from inception to planning negotiations, and, if all were successful, would have the potential for 54 wind turbines, generating up to 133 megawatts of power.

‘We believe there is significant opportunity to develop wind farms on parts of our land portfolio,’ said UK Coal chief executive Jon Lloyd. ‘By allying with Peel Energy, we are joining forces with one of the UK's most active and knowledgeable wind power companies.

‘This will accelerate our alternative power business, whilst maintaining total flexibility on the level of investment we make in it and without distracting us from our core mining and property development operations’.