Scottish Energy News EXCLUSIVE
A wind farm in south west Scotland is to supply half the UK power needs of Nestle, the Swiss-based foods group.
All of Nestlé’s grid-supplied electricity in the UK and Ireland already comes from renewable sources and the newly commissioned Community Windpower wind farm at Sanquhar, Dumfries-shire, will generate new power to initially cover half of the company’s electricity needs.
This new deal, an initial 15 year partnership with Community Windpower, will see the new nine turbine wind farm open in the first half of 2017. It will produce approximately 125GWh of power per annum, enough to supply the annual demands of 30,000 homes.
Dame Fiona Kendrick, Chairman and Chief Executive, Nestlé UK & Ireland, said: “We announced back in April that all of our grid-supplied electricity is coming from renewable sources but this announcement takes things a huge step further.
“This is a newly commissioned wind farm, generating new energy, creating capacity that didn’t previously exist and capable of providing half of our electricity needs. It’s a proud moment for us and means we have reached another key milestone in our efforts to become a sustainable business.”
Rod Wood, Managing Director, Community Windpower, said: “We are delighted to be working with Nestle by providing 50% of their energy requirements from our Sanquhar community wind farm project. As a leading party within the RE100, Nestle’s commitment to sustainable resourcing is exemplary and our partnership is testament to that.”
Although based in Cheshire, Community Windpower has a ‘buy Scottish’ commercial policy. It already operates four other wind farms in Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and East Lothian.
A Community Windpower spokesman said: “We have a further four consented wind farms in Scotland which are currently in the process of being built out and our Memorandum of Understanding with Wind Towers (Scotland) Ltd of Campbeltown will ensure that our investment in Scotland continues as we intend to source 50 turbine towers from their factory for our consented projects.
Our ‘Buy Scottish’ policy is also a crucial component of all of our projects as we maintain our commitment to Scotland and its green energy industry, as we are set to invest over £1 billion in to the Scottish economy.
“Through our eight operational and consented projects, we have invested £300 million to date in Scotland and this will increase to £700 million by 2017 and £1 billion by 2020.”
Nestlé aims to achieve 100% renewable electrical energy globally in the shortest practical timescale through RE100, a global initiative to engage, support and showcase influential companies committed to using 100% renewable power. Nestlé also has an aspiration to reduce its UK carbon footprint by 40% by 2020. This target will be reached or exceeded well ahead of schedule.
Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director, said: “Nestlé recognises that climate change impacts pose a risk to the business, and sees renewable energy as part of the solution. Today’s announcement takes the company a step closer to its goal of sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its global operations, and reinforces the strong market signal – sent through RE100 – that business demand for renewables is rising.”