The firm said the initiative, which has had support from the Scottish Government, was one of the UK’s largest combined solar carport and energy storage facilities. It covers 342 car park spaces and provides 50 electric vehicle charging stations.
The facility will be powered by Tesla Powerpack technology and is expected to contribute to a combined annual carbon emission saving of nearly 400 tonnes, equivalent to powering more than 500 homes for one year.
It means that the Perth office can go “off grid” for five hours every day when the national grid is at its busiest. The surplus energy will go to the battery for later use or exported to the grid.
The company employs some 2,000 people in Scotland, with around 1,000 people based in its Perth office, which houses its property claims centre for both commercial and personal property.
It said the investment marked an “important milestone” in the development of sustainable buildings and infrastructures in Scotland and the UK and supported the government’s electric vehicle incentive scheme.
Nick Amin, Aviva’s chief operating officer, said: “It’s vital that businesses in all industries put words into action when it comes to tackling the climate emergency.
“That’s why we are taking strides to reduce our environmental impact and partner with leading technology specialists to help make that happen. The Perth solar and storage initiative is a great example of how Aviva is innovating to secure a sustainable energy supply and support the electric vehicle revolution.”
David Skinn, Aviva distribution director based in Perth, added: “Scotland is a country that has long been known as a pioneer in the energy sector, and so it is fitting that Aviva has built one of UK’s leading solar and storage facility in the heart of Scotland.
“With the build up to COP26 gaining momentum, people in Scotland, and across the UK, expect more to be done in the fight against climate change, so we’re delighted to be playing our part alongside the Scottish Government to save and create energy.”
The firm said its research found that 35 per cent of Scottish people believed there is a lack of electric infrastructure, though more than two in five drivers who currently own a petrol or diesel car say that would be more likely to transition to electric vehicles with government or employer support.
Aviva has several environmental initiatives across its UK sites including the installation of a solar carport at its Norwich office, only using electricity certified by the Carbon Trust and onsite beehives.
Roseanna Cunningham, Scottish secretary for the environment and climate change, said: “I welcome the launch of Aviva’s solar carport and energy storage facility in Perth. This ambitious project, which received £1.5 million support through the Scottish Government’s low carbon infrastructure transition programme, will significantly reduce the environmental impact and carbon emissions from Aviva’s Scottish headquarters.”