Scots windfarm to power Nestle's UK and Ireland factories

A new wind farm in Scotland is set to supply half the power needed for Nestle's operations in the UK and Ireland, the company has announced.
Picture: Jon SavagePicture: Jon Savage
Picture: Jon Savage

A 15-year partnership with Community Windpower will see Nestle buying electricity generated by a new nine-turbine wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway once it opens in the first half of 2017.

The Sanquhar community wind farm will produce around 125 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity a year - the equivalent of powering 30,000 homes - all of which will be bought by Nestle to meet 50% of its electricity needs in the UK and Ireland.

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The partnership has given Community Windpower the assurance to go ahead with the project.

Nestle had already announced it would get all its grid-supplied electricity from renewables in a deal with EDF, but the global food giant said the deal to buy energy from the wind farm would ensure new low carbon power capacity was constructed.

Dame Fiona Kendrick, chief executive of Nestle UK & Ireland, said: “We announced back in April that all of our grid-supplied electricity is coming from renewable sources, but today’s announcement takes things a huge step further.

“This is a newly-commissioned wind farm, generating new energy, creating capacity that didn’t previously exist and capable of providing half of our electricity needs.

“It’s a proud moment for us and means we have reached another key milestone in our efforts to become a sustainable business.”

Rod Wood, managing director of Community Windpower, said: “Community Windpower are delighted to be working with Nestle by providing 50% of their energy requirements from our Sanquhar community wind farm project.”

Nestle has signed up to the RE100 initiative, which sees major companies committing to sourcing 100% of their energy needs from renewables as part of efforts to drive the shift towards a low carbon economy.

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The company has also had an aim to cut its UK carbon footprint by 40% by 2020, which it said it will hit well ahead of schedule.

Emily Farnworth, RE100 campaign director, said: “Nestle recognises that climate change impacts pose a risk to the business, and sees renewable energy as part of the solution.

“Today’s announcement takes the company a step closer to its goal of sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its global operations, and reinforces the strong market signal - sent through RE100 - that business demand for renewables is rising.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “It’s great to see a company like Nestle supporting the construction of new wind farms to help power the manufacture of its products.

“The next step on their 100% renewable journey should be to find ways to harness clean energy at their own manufacturing facilities and on their own buildings.

“With its huge renewable energy resources, Scotland is an ideal location to source the power needed to create products more sustainably. This is a great example of how business can help meet the UK’s climate change targets.”