BT secures 100MW of wind energy to power UK operations

BT has signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) worth £440m with three wind farms in Scotland, Wales and Lancashire, securing more than 100MW of renewable energy capacity to help power its UK operations.

The energy will be supplied from the 48-turbine Fallago Rig wind farm located 35km southeast of Edinburgh in the Scottish Borders, the new Heysham South Wind Farm in Lancashire and nine-turbine Mynydd Bwllfa Wind farm in South Wales.

BT will purchase 50% of Fallago Rig’s output, enough to match the power consumption of its entire Scottish operations, in a deal worth around £300m over the next two decades. Its 15-year £100m agreement with Mynydd Bwllfa will provide enough electricity to match around 50% of BT’s demand in Wales, while its 15-year deal with Heysham South Wind Farm is worth around £40m.

BT is a major consumer of electricity in the UK, using around 2TWh in 2013/14. It has reduced the energy needed to run its business for five consecutive years, saving more than £131m in energy costs.

BT’s head of energy supply Rob Williams said the deals would give the company long term price certainty, as well as enable it to support the local economies in which it operates.

“These three agreements reinforce our commitment to make a positive contribution to society and the environment,” he said, adding that BT has reduced carbon emissions from its own operations by 25.5% globally during 2013/14.

BT’s sole supplier of renewable energy, npower, has worked closely with the company on all three projects, developing a new supply process in Scotland to deliver power to BT and ensure its electricity consumption is matched by equivalent volumes from Fallago Rig.

According to npower’s industrial & commercial markets director Wayne Mitchell, a tailored solution was required in order to help BT meet its sustainability goals.

“In Scotland, we asked our in-house experts to develop an innovative transmission solution that would mean BT was able to use the wind farm’s energy. The solution took six months to complete but it shows what can be achieved working hand in hand with some of our customers.”

BT has purchased renewable energy from npower since 2000 and started to source 100% of its electricity in the UK from renewable energy after signing a new agreement with the supplier in 2012.

The development signals BT’s growing interest in wind power for energy security. Last year edie reported that the telecommunications giant had signed an agreement with British renewable energy company RES to develop a new wind farm in Northumberland.

Maxine Perella

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