Diageo receives green light for giant solar farm

Beverages conglomerate Diageo has received planning permission to develop a giant solar farm in Leven, in Scotland.

The company, which produces a host of famous brands including Johnnie Walker and Gordon’s Gin, will begin installing 9,000 solar panels, covering an area equal to eight football pitches, from July, after receiving approval from Fife Council.

Diageo, which submitted the plans last July, said the solar array will have the capacity to produce 4.1 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 2,500 homes for a year – while removing carbon dioxide emissions by about 830 tonnes a year.

The solar farm will be installed on vacant land on the south-east corner of Diageo’s 150-acre plant in Leven, and will work on the project alongside E.ON and Scottish-based Emtec Energy. 

The project is scheduled to be completed and generating power by early2023.

Gavin Brogan, operations director at Diageo Leven, said: “It’s fantastic to make this project a reality, creating a more resilient and energy-efficient plant. Working in partnership with E.ON and Emtec Energy, the solar array will generate nearly a quarter of our annual energy use and is a fantastic step forward towards meeting our net-zero commitments.

“Diageo is well-rooted in Leven and we are committed to playing a positive role in our local community, so we will continue to invest in projects like this one to improve our impact on the environment and future-proof our operations. We have a number of those projects in the pipeline, including looking into sustainable heating solutions which the solar farm development will help to power.”

Stuart Beasley of E.ON said: “With our partners Emtec we are ideally placed to help Diageo in their ambitions to create a more sustainable business, as well as showing employees and customers the tangible changes they are making in the face of the climate emergency.”

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