Diageo is to commence work on a major new solar energy farm in vacant land within its Leven packaging site from July after receiving planning approval.
Occupying an area the size of eight football pitches, 9,000 solar panels will be installed, generating up to 22% of the site’s annual electricity needs and up to 60% over summer months.
The solar array is expected to be one of the largest of its type in Scotland, producing 4.1MW of electricity – enough to power 2,500 homes for a year – and reducing CO2 emissions by about 830 tonnes a year.
The solar farm will be installed on the vacant land in the Southeast corner of Diageo’s 150-acre plant and is being delivered in partnership with E.On and Scottish-based Emtec Energy.
The project is wholly contained within the existing footprint of the site and is scheduled to be complete and generating power by early 2023.
Diageo’s 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.
Gavin Brogan, Operations Director at Diageo Leven, said: “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.
“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.”
Plans for the development of the site as a solar array were submitted to Fife council in July 2021.