Wind farm developer Airtricity is to gain a foothold in the rapidly expanding Swedish wind power market through a 50:50 joint venture with Gothia Vind.

The two companies say that they are aiming to develop around 200 MW of capacity in western Sweden, with the first wind farm scheduled to enter operation in 2011. The joint venture is part of plans by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), Airtricity’s parent company, to invest around £500 million of equity in renewable energy over the next five years.

Each partner will inject EUR30 million of equity into the venture and raise non-recourse debt accounting for 80 per cent of the investment. Based near Gotherburg, Gothia Vind is a specialist wind energy developer.

Paul Dowling, Chief Executive of Airtricity, said: “There is a rapidly rising demand for wind power in Sweden, and we believe that the joint venture with Gothia Vind will give us a platform to meet some of this demand and thereby establish a significant and growing presence in this important market.”