The Co-operative Group and ScottishPower are teaming up to build a 16MW windfarm at Coldham in Cambridgeshire, which will provide enough green energy to power almost 10,000 homes.

The �17 million joint venture is a major first for both organisations - the Co-op's first ever windfarm and ScottishPower's first renewable energy project south of the border.

The eight-turbine windfarm will produce energy which would require the release of 35,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere each year if generated by conventional means.

Work will begin immediately on the scheme, which is being developed on a small part of the 4000 acre agricultural estate, operated by the Group's Farmcare arm and is scheduled for completion later this year.

ScottishPower already supplies over 3,500 Co-operative Group sites with green energy through a �18m contract announced last year. The joint venture, Coldham Windfarms, which will build and operate the project, is seen as a natural progression of this relationship.

ScottishPower already generates 158MW of wind power and has a further 127MW in construction - together providing enough power for 160,000 homes. The company plans to invest �1 billion in UK windfarms by 2010 producing over 1000MW.

Charles Berry, ScottishPower's Executive Director UK, said: "Coldham is highly significant as ScottishPower's first windfarm in England and for the joint venture with the Co-Operative Group - an exciting opportunity for both organisations to reinforce their commitment to responsible business and the environment".