Nicola Sturgeon outlines Scotland's actions on climate change
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The 14-turbine Beinn an Tuirc 3 wind farm has gone online and will soon power Amazon’s operations across the UK. Situated on the Kintyre peninsula, west of Glasgow, the 50-megawatt sites will produce enough electricity to power nearly 46,000 homes. However, ScottishPower has confirmed on Thursday all of that electricity will be purchased by Jeff Bezos’s company, Amazon.
The green energy will power the company’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres and corporate offices in the UK.
The announcement marks a major victory for Britain’s post-Brexit economy, as well as Amazon’s first operational renewable energy project in the UK.
The Beinn an Tuirc Windfarm is among the UK’s biggest onshore farms, with the first phase of 45 turbines completed in late 2001.
The site was then expanded to a total of 64 turbines as part of Phase Two, raising the total generating capacity of up to 68 megawatts.
The Phase 3 development has now been dubbed the largest ScottishPower wind farm to be built without a government support scheme, the project was enabled by Amazon’s Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
PPAs are contracts between the public and private sectors that allow suppliers to power a business operation for fixed rates over an agreed period of time.
The agreements also allow developers to invest in renewable energy without having to rely on public funding.
Both Amazon and ScottishPower Renewables have hailed the partnership ahead of the COP26 climate summit, which begins in Glasgow this Sunday.
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In a bid to fight climate change, the Government has committed to hitting net-zero emissions by 2050.
Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “It’s really exciting to mark the completion of Beinn an Tuirc 3 and the start of our PPA with Amazon during UK Wind Week and with just a few days to go until the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference gets underway.
“If we’re going to reach net zero over the next thirty years, we need to quadruple the amount of renewable energy produced in the UK so we can move away from petrol and diesel cars; electrify public transport; get rid of gas boilers and move to electric heating for our homes; and lower emissions from heavy industry and the goods and services we rely on every day.
“We’re proud to have delivered Amazon’s first renewable project in the UK, supporting The Climate Pledge and the company’s commitment to be net-zero carbon across its business by 2040.
“This will support a greener and more sustainable economy and help us all enjoy a cleaner and better future, quicker.”
According to John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, Amazon, the partnership puts Amazon well on track to be powered entirely by green energy.
The company has committed to slashing its planet-warming carbon emissions.
In 2020, the company said it was the “largest corporate buyer of renewable energy” with 65 percent renewables across all operations – up on 42 percent in 2019.
Last year also saw the company’s carbon emissions increase by 19 percent, while “overall carbon intensity” fell by 16 percent.
Mr Boumphrey now said: “We are excited that our first Scottish wind farm is now contributing to that goal, and we have three more large-scale renewable projects in development across the UK.
“Investing in clean energy and working across all of our operations to become more efficient is just one of the many actions we are taking to reach our commitment as part of The Climate Pledge to be net-zero carbon by 2040.”
Earlier this year, Amazon’s founder said he would spend £730million ($1billion) a year to fight the climate crisis and has launched the Bezos Earth Fund a year ago.
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