Diageo plans on constructing 9,000-panel solar farm in Scotland

SCOTLAND – British multinational alcoholic beverage company Diageo has announced plans to begin work on a new 9,000-panel solar farm at its Leven packaging site from July.

The company says the facility will occupy an area the size of eight football pitches, and the 9,000 solar panels will generate up to 22% of the site’s annual electricity needs and up to 60% over the summer months.

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The solar farm, planning permission for which was submitted in August, will be installed on Diageo’s 150-acre plant and is being delivered in partnership with E.On and Scottish-based Emtec Energy.

The partnership with Emtec and E.ON are ideally placed to help Diageo achieve its ambitions to create a more sustainable business, as well as meet the UK’s 2050 net-zero targets and respond appropriately to climate emergencies

The solar array is expected to be one of the largest of its type in Scotland, producing 4.1MW of electricity that is enough to power 2,500 homes for a year while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 830 tonnes a year.

To minimize disruption within the local community, Diageo said, the project is wholly contained within the existing footprint of the site and is scheduled to be complete by early 2023.

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The company noted that this project once in operation, will be a major step toward its carbon-neutrality goals.

The group said its Leven bottling and packaging site produces 40 million cases of premium spirit every year and, under Diageo’s Society 2030 commitment, is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2026.

Diageo also notes that in Scotland alone, the new facility will join the three of its Scotch whisky distilleries – Oban, Royal Lochnagar, and Brora which have already achieved net-zero carbon emissions.

Gavin Brogan, Operations Director at Diageo Leven, said: “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.”

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The sustainability investment in Scotland also follows Diageo India’s investment to double its solar capacity from 1.3 to 2.6 MW in order to continue its drive to cut the use of fossil fuel at its distilleries.

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