New wind farm to provide up to a third of Sainsbury’s electricity
Sainsbury’s is celebrating the completion of a brand-new wind farm in Scotland.
It will add up to 50 megawatts (MW) of electrical capacity to the grid in the form of renewable energy that will be used to power Sainsbury’s stores, offices and depots nationwide, giving a major boost to the retailer’s ambition to become Net Zero in its own operations by 2035.
Sainsbury’s commitment to the future of Longhill Burn Wind Farm will see the retailer invest millions of pounds in the renewable energy it produces over the next 15 years.
Longhill Burn has been under construction since 2021 when Sainsbury’s signed an agreement to buy 100% of the electricity it generates with Capital Dynamics, one of the world’s leading renewable energy investment managers.
Located in West Lothian, it features a total of eight state-of-the-art wind turbines, designed and delivered by Siemens Gamesa. The blades measure a colossal 76 metres in length and the turbines stand at over 200m tall at their highest point. Each turbine provides a maximum output of between 6-6.4MW, making them the largest and most powerful onshore wind turbines available in the UK.
When all the turbines are operating at maximum capacity, together they will provide enough electricity to supply up to 33% of Sainsbury’s total electricity needs.
Over the course of a full year, they are expected to produce around 150,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity, which is enough to power over 2.8 million standard LED lightbulbs continuously or provide electricity for around 55,000 average UK homes.
Longhill Burn is the seventh wind farm from which Sainsbury’s now buys 100% of the energy generated and an eighth site is expected to go live next year.
Patrick Dunne, Sainsbury’s Director of Property, Procurement and EV Ventures, said: “We’re very proud to be investing in this state-of-the-art, sustainable source of new wind power, featuring the largest, most cutting-edge onshore turbines available in the UK. Now it’s completed, Longhill Burn Wind Farm can begin to realise its full potential, helping us take another massive step towards reducing our reliance on carbon.
“Sainsbury’s was the first UK retailer to start directly purchasing wind power for use in its estate back in 2008. Our commitment to the future of Longhill Burn Wind Farm, which both enabled its construction and guaranteed its long-term viability, builds on our proven track record of investing in sustainable technologies.”
The project was developed in partnership with Energiekontor AG, which managed the construction of the wind farm and will oversee its day-to-day performance and maintenance. Longhill Burn will benefit from Capital Dynamics’ and Energiekontor’s longstanding operations management experience.
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