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BT powered by Borders wind farm

Published: 4 Jun 2014 06:300 comments

BT is to purchase enough renewable energy from a Scottish Borders wind farm to match the power consumption of its entire Scottish operations, it was announced today.

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The company will buy 50 per cent of the electricity generated by the 48-turbine Fallago Rig wind farm in the Scottish Borders. The deal is worth around £300 million over the next two decades.

BT is a major consumer of electricity, using around 170 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per annum in Scotland.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, and a member of Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group, said the significant Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Fallago Rig underpinned BT’s long-term commitment to the digital fabric of Scotland over the next 20 years.

He said: “It’s fantastic that all of our Scottish infrastructure and estate will be matched with energy from renewable sources in Scotland in a deal which gives us long-term price certainty. BT is one of the UK’s biggest consumers of electricity, and demand for our digital services, including fibre broadband, means we have to keep innovating to meet our needs in an environmentally responsible way.

“At BT we use the power of communications to make a better world. We’re as committed to reducing our own carbon emissions as we are to providing products and services that help everyone live within the planet’s resources. We reduced carbon emissions from our own operations by 25.5 per cent globally during 2013/14.

“Our deal with Fallago Rig reinforces our commitment to make a positive contribution to society and the environment. It’s also a huge vote of confidence in Scottish renewable energy.”

The deal was today welcomed by the Scottish Government. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “It is great news for Scotland and the environment that a company the size of BT is taking a local and sustainable approach to sourcing its electricity in Scotland from renewable and low carbon sources.

“With EDF Energy and BT now sharing 100 per cent of the energy produced by Fallago Rig, it also secures generation at the site for the long-term future and shows the importance of Scottish renewable energy to Scottish-based businesses and their customers.”

The 144 Megawatt (MW) Fallago Rig, the fifth largest onshore wind farm in the UK, is majority owned by funds managed by Hermes GPE Infrastructure. EDF Energy Renewables continue to own a minority stake in the wind farm and will continue to manage the site by providing operations, maintenance services and asset management.

BT’s sole supplier of renewable energy, npower, has worked closely with the company to develop a new supply process to deliver power to BT and make sure its electricity consumption in Scotland is matched by the equivalent volume from the Fallago Rig Wind Farm. BT has purchased renewable energy from npower since 2000 and started to source 100 per cent of its electricity in the UK from renewable energy after signing a new agreement with the supplier in 2012.

Wayne Mitchell, industrial and commercial markets director at npower, said: “As a long term partner to BT, we understand the importance of their Better Future strategy and do everything in our power to develop tailored solutions that will help them meet their sustainability goals.

“So we asked our in-house experts to develop an innovative transmission solution that would mean BT was able to use the wind farm’s energy. The solution took six months to complete but it shows what can be achieved working hand in hand with some of our customers.”

BT has also secured other PPA contracts, supporting the delivery of ‘New to the Planet’ renewable generation, and will soon be supplied with electricity from a wind farm in Wales, which is currently being built.

BT’s Better Future Report for 2013/14 demonstrates the company’s extensive work to put responsible and sustainable business at the heart of its operations. For further information visit www.bt.com/betterfuturereport

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