ScottishPower Renewables, part of the Iberdrola Group and the leading developer of wind-powered energy generation in the UK, has today announced that it has begun work on its first UK onshore wind projects developed without a government backed contract. Two new onshore wind farms will be built by ScottishPower to provide clean, sustainable energy for corporate giants Amazon and Tesco.
The project with Amazon will see 50MW of green energy delivered by ScottishPower, which will provide enough energy each year to power the equivalent of 46,000 homes. Located on the Kintyre Peninsula in Scotland, the windfarm will be powered by fourteen Vestas turbines, with the towers for the wind turbines being supplied by local firm CS Wind.
The project with Tesco is one part of the retailer’s pledge to use 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and will see ScottishPower build a windfarm in Halsary, in Caithness, Scotland. The 15 turbine, 30MW project will be powered by Vestas turbines, capable of generating enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of over 27,000 homes.
Up to a hundred new jobs will be created in each of the sites over the lifetime of the projects with around £400,000 of community benefit generated per annum between the two sites.
Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: "Fighting to stop the climate emergency is the defining challenge of our generation and a central part of ScottishPower’s business model – we are delighted to partner with others who share our ambition.
"As the world progresses towards Net Zero, collaboration between power suppliers and global companies like Amazon and Tesco is vital to deliver change on the scale required. Onshore wind is the cheapest way of generating electricity, and PPAs provide an important route to market for this green technology. We’re seeing an increasing number of progressive companies entering into PPAs to bring forward investment in green energy to support their operations, and look forward to working with Amazon and Tesco to deliver these landmark projects."
PPAs have been a key feature of the wind industry in the US market for over a decade where the tax regime created a need to find a buyer for the power produced. The PPA market in Europe operates without such an incentive – meaning either a government auction or private offtake arrangement, such as a PPA, is required.
With innovation and scale, onshore wind generation now presents the cheapest means of tackling climate change – PPAs are one of the options to activate investment in new green energy infrastructure from the corporate sector.
In the race to reach Carbon Net Zero, homes and businesses across Europe will require similar access. This can be best achieved through government mechanisms for onshore wind via a competitive Contracts for Difference auctions that will ensure consumers across the UK benefit from this lowest cost form of renewable electricity generation.
Both windfarms will be constructed on land owned by Forestry and Land Scotland.
Simon Hodgson, Chief Executive of Forestry and Land Scotland, said: "We are pleased that more of the potential for renewable energy generation on the land that we manage is being realised - and that these projects will support and create construction and operational jobs in Scotland."
ScottishPower is the first integrated energy company in the UK to generate 100% green electricity. Our focus is on wind energy, smart grids and driving the change to a cleaner, electric future. We’re investing over £7m every working day to make this happen. We’re committed to speeding up the transition to cleaner electric transport, improving air quality and, over time, driving down bills – to deliver a better future, quicker for everyone. ScottishPower is part of the Iberdrola Group, one of the world’s largest integrated utility companies and a world leader in renewables. More details about our work can be found at www.scottishpower.com.