Sainsbury’s celebrates completion of Scottish onshore wind farm
Supermarket Sainsbury’s has announced the completion of a new onshore wind farm in Scotland which will be able to meet up to one-third of its annual electricity needs.
The retailer announced this week the completion of the 50MW Longhill Burn Wind Farm in West Lothian. It will procure 100% of the power that the array produces for the entirety of its operational life through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with investor Capital Dynamics and developer Energiekontor AG.
Sainsbury’s anticipates that the wind farm will generate enough electricity to meet up to one-third of its annual electricity needs in the UK.
The business pledged in October 2021 to switch to 100% renewable electricity by the end of that year, and is now increasingly looking to purchase energy directly from wind sites as it works towards a 2035 net-zero ambition. Longhill Burn is the seventh wind farm from which Sainsbury’s now buys 100% of the energy generated and an eighth site is expected to go live next year.
Longhill Burn is touted as unique in that it includes the largest and most powerful onshore wind turbines in operation in the UK. Each of the turbines, from Siemens Gamesa, is more than 200 metres tall at its highest point, with blades that are 76 meters long.
Sainsbury’s’ director of property, procurement and electric vehicle ventures Patrick Dunne said: “Sainsbury’s was the first UK retailer to start directly purchasing wind power for use in its estate back in 2008. Our commitment to the future of Longhill Burn Wind Farm, which both enabled its construction and guaranteed its long-term viability, builds on our proven track record of investing in sustainable technologies.
“Now it’s completed, Longhill Burn Wind Farm can begin to realise its full potential, helping us take another massive step towards reducing our reliance on carbon.”
In other renewables news from Scotland, Peel Ports Group has signed a strategic partnership agreement with SSE Energy Solutions to serve its new port and resource campus in Clydeport, Ayrshire, with clean energy solutions.
The Hunterston Port and Resource Campus (Hunterston PARC) will span up to 320 acres and will serve as an industrial and freight hub with likes to sea, road and rail. It has received a multi-million-pound, ten-year financial support commitment from the UK Government through the Ayrshire Growth Deal.
There is little information available at the moment about precisely which low-carbon energy solutions will be deployed at the site, which has national development status from the Scottish Government, thus making renewable energy development processes simpler.
Peel Ports Group’s managing director of port services Lewis McIntyre said: ““One of the key, long term aims of Peel Ports Group has been to repurpose this nationally important port for the blue and green economies, and we look forward to working with SSE on this partnership in the coming years.”
Peel Ports Group has set a 2040 net-zero target covering Scope 1 (operational) and 2 (power-related) emissions. It has recorded a 32% reduction so far across these emissions scopes, against a 2020 baseline.
The Group will announce a Scope 3 (indirect) emissions reduction target and plan next year before developing site-specific climate plans for each of its locations.
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