An Aberdeenshire wind farm will supply more than 500 homes in south-west England with power under a new agreement confirmed today, further underlining the strength of Scotland’s renewable energy sector.
Sustainable energy firm Thrive Renewables and gas and electricity supplier Bristol Energy have struck a supply deal for 0.8 megawatts of wind power from an onshore site near Strichen, enough energy to power around 550 homes.
The supplier purchased the renewable electricity produced by Thrive’s Clayfords wind farm for 12 months starting from September this year, in a deal completed via online auction site E-power.
Bristol-based business Thrive owns the single-turbine site as part of its nationwide renewable project portfolio of 21 sites, with assets under management in excess of £105 million. Nine of these investments are based in Scotland, where Thrive has some 450 shareholders.
Scottish Government figures show wind power is the largest single sector in Scotland’s renewable energy economy and experts have already tipped that 2018 will be another bumper year of wind generation for Scotland, after a record-breaking first quarter. In the first three months of the year, onshore wind turbines in Scotland generated enough power to run the equivalent of five million homes, a 44 per cent increase from the same period in 2017.
Monika Paplaczyk, investment manager at Thrive Renewables, said the company has always looked at Scotland as a key investment target area. She said: “Scotland is a fantastic place where renewables have been thriving for a number of years and we have been lucky to join this movement.
“To date, nine of our investments have been made in projects in Scotland, some of which are flagship projects, such as the famous wind turbine at Burgar Hill on the Orkney Islands (one of the first test sites in the UK) and the most recent Drumduff wind farm, a three-turbine farm built on a disused coal mine.”
The Clayfords site was built in 2015 with the nearby Auchtygills turbine. Both sites began operating in 2016 and pay a community benefit fee to the Aberdeenshire council.
Owned by Bristol City Council, national gas and electricity supplier Bristol Energy is one of two municipal energy suppliers in the UK, alongside Nottingham’s Robin Hood Energy. Renewables accounted for 40 per cent of the firm’s supply after its first year in 2017, which it estimates it has boosted to 60 per cent this year.
The two companies collaborated last year, reaching a similar agreement for hydro-electricity provided by the Beochlich hydro site at Loch Awe, close to Inverary. They said this deal would “strengthen their partnership”.
Matthew Clayton, managing director at Thrive, said: “Thrive exists to offer individuals a rewarding connection with sustainable energy, so having the opportunity to provide our renewable power to a company like Bristol Energy, with similar values to us is extremely rewarding.
“Deals such as this one with independent renewable energy providers enable an increasing pool of people to benefit from affordable, green electricity in their homes.”