6 June 2011
On the day that Whitelee Windfarm was presented with a Queen’s Award for Sustainability from The Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, its owners ScottishPower Renewables switched on what is believed to be the UK’s first electric vehicle charging point directly linked to a windfarm.
ScottishPower Renewables received the Queen’s Award on the basis of its commitment to sustainability, which was evidenced throughout the development, construction and on-going operation of Whitelee Windfarm. It was also noted that the project was a best practice example of habitat management, and that the commitment to encourage local community involvement had been a strong focus.
The £2m visitor centre facility at the windfarm attracted more than 125,000 visitors in the first 12 months that it was open. As well as acting as a learning hub for the 4,500 school children who have visited, it is also a focal point for cyclists, horse riders and ramblers who have taken advantage of the windfarm’s 90km of tracks.
In a new sustainable development, the company also switched on an electric vehicle charging post directly linked to the wind power generated at Whitelee. If it proves to be popular, the company would consider installing further charging posts and potentially develop more charging points at other windfarm locations
The wider ScottishPower group is currently part of a Transport Scotland-led consortium seeking to create a corridor of up to 375 electric vehicle charging points across the central belt of Scotland. It has also recently taken delivery of four electric vehicles to be used across different areas of its business. This is part of another electric vehicle trial in Glasgow led by Allied Vehicles which focuses on fleet vehicles used by businesses and local authorities. The Elektrobay charging post installed at the windfarm is the same as 40 installed in and around Glasgow supplied by Elektromotive as part of this trial.
Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “We are very honoured to have received the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development, and would like to thank the Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire for presenting the award. It is recognition of the hard work that has gone in to every aspect of planning, delivering and running Europe’s largest windfarm and is a great credit to the hundreds of individuals who have worked very hard to make it possible.
“As a company we are very supportive of all carbon reduction technologies, and we have been keen for a while to introduce electric vehicle charging points at our sites. Whitelee is the largest onshore windfarm in Europe, so the charging post could easily be considered as one of the greenest ways to top-up power in a car anywhere in the country. If it proves to be popular, we would be keen to explore the potential of expanding the scheme.”