SCOTCH whisky giant Diageo has unveiled plans to build a solar energy farm at its massive packaging plant in Leven, Fife.
The Johnnie Walker, Bell’s and Gordon’s maker has submitted proposals to Fife Council for permission to install 12,000 solar panels at the site, which produces 40 million cases of spirits per year. The panels, which the distiller is aiming to install on vacant land at the 150-acre site, would be capable of producing four mega-watts of electricity.
Diageo said the plans form part of its ambition to achieve net-zero status in terms of carbon emissions from direct operations by 2030. It is working on the project alongside energy company E.ON and Emtec Energy, a local Scottish business.
Diageo has solar panels at other sites, but this would be its first solar project of this scale.
It noted that, while its proposed solar farm would cover an extensive area, it would fall entirely within the existing footprint of the Leven packaging plant. The plans have been drafted to minimise the visual and environmental impact on the surrounding area.
Gavin Brogan, operations director at Leven, said: “We have been on the journey to environmental sustainability at Leven for many years and we have made great progress, but this solar array would take us to another level, allowing us to generate our own renewable energy on-site and contributing to Diageo’s global ambition to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. We have planned this carefully and we are happy to engage our neighbours and local stakeholders during the planning application process.”
As part a 10-year sustainability action plan, Diageo said three of its Scotch whisky distillers, Oban, Royal Lochnagar and Brora, have already achieved net-zero status.