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Newly completed Halsary wind farm will help Tesco stores to 'go green'

By Alan Hendry

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Tesco and ScottishPower Renewables vehicles at the Halsary wind farm site, south of Spittal.
Tesco and ScottishPower Renewables vehicles at the Halsary wind farm site, south of Spittal.

The latest onshore wind farm to be built in Caithness will help a supermarket giant to achieve its sustainability and climate goals.

ScottishPower Renewables says its 15-turbine Halsary wind farm, south of Spittal, was built specifically to support the green energy needs of Tesco.

The 30MW development will help power Tesco stores and operations across the country and bring more clean energy onto the grid.

ScottishPower Renewables says the newly completed wind farm is now generating enough energy for the equivalent of almost 20,000 homes.

It was developed as part of a power purchase agreement (PPA), making it the first ScottishPower wind farm to be built without a government support scheme. PPAs allow developers to invest in and build new green infrastructure projects with a clear route to market, while corporate customers get a trusted source of clean energy, "certainty and transparency in relation to energy costs" and a reduction in their own carbon footprint.

Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “The UK needs to quadruple the amount of clean renewable energy available over the next 30 years if we’re to have any chance of meeting net-zero targets and tackling the climate emergency, which is a massive challenge.

Tesco group treasurer Lynda Heywood (left) and Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, at Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow.
Tesco group treasurer Lynda Heywood (left) and Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, at Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow.

"Onshore wind is the cheapest form of generating electricity in the UK, so it’s the ideal way for businesses to purchase clean energy and go green – at scale and at pace – and it’s great to see there’s a growing market for these types of partnerships.

“With less than 100 days to the COP26 UN climate change summit in Glasgow, we all need to do our bit for a cleaner and greener future – the energy sector, government, business and communities.

"We’re excited to be supporting Tesco in reaching its sustainability and climate goals from our new wind farm. We know every little helps if we’re all going to enjoy a cleaner, greener and better future, quicker.”

A spokesperson for ScottishPower Renewables said Halsary wind farm represents a £37 million investment in the Highlands, adding: "Details of a new community benefit fund linked to the wind farm are being finalised and will be announced shortly.”

Jason Tarry, chief executive of Tesco UK and ROI, said: “This is a critical year for climate action and these long-term renewable energy agreements are crucial to securing Tesco’s future energy needs and meeting our net-zero commitments.

The 30MW Halsary development consists of 15 turbines.
The 30MW Halsary development consists of 15 turbines.

"These partnerships will also help create more affordable access to renewable energy and support the UK in realising its climate change targets.

“Real change requires that businesses now start moving from making commitments to driving transformative action. Now is the time to accelerate our efforts to tackle the biggest challenge of our lifetime.”

Scotland's minister for business, trade and enterprise, Ivan McKee, said: “We all need to play our part in ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change, and the private sector has a key role in this journey. Scotland can show the rest of the world how it’s done – and ensure our people, businesses and communities are at the forefront of a greener, more sustainable economy.

"The decarbonisation of the electricity sector has been a major success of Scotland’s energy policy over the past decade and I am pleased to see this significant partnership between Tesco and ScottishPower going live.

"Our just transition to net-zero presents many economic opportunities for our business community to embrace green innovation and investment, supporting our climate goals and benefiting our economy, environment and society.”

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