Diageo has revealed its ambitions to transform one of its Fife production sites with a 12,000 panel solar farm.
The drinks giant s seeking planning permission to install the panels at its packaging plant in Leven.
Subject to consent by Fife Council, the plans would see solar panels capable of producing 4MW of electricity installed at the 150-acre plant.
The development comprises a series of ground-mounted solar panels with a combined generating capacity of up to 4MW.
The panels, which will be no taller than 1.65m, will be arranged in rows, supported off the ground by a series of narrow metal frames.
They will be located on currently disused land to the east of the site.
The Leven facility opened in 1973 and has grown to become the biggest packaging plant in Diageo’s global business.
It produces around 40 million cases of premium spirits each year.
The majority of the production at the site is for export to markets around the world including leading global brands such as Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff.
Diageo, which recently celebrated a rise in sales globally, also produces single malts including Lagavulin, Talisker and Oban.
The plan is part of Diageo’s industry-leading ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions from its direct operations by 2030.
Journey of environmental sustainability
Operations director at the packaging plant Gavin Brogan said: “We have been on the journey to environmental sustainability at Leven for many years.
“We have made great progress, but this solar array would take us to another level.
“It would allow 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. We are happy to engage our neighbours and local stakeholders during the planning application process.”
Diageo is working with energy company E.ON and Emtec Energy to develop the plans.
Although covering an extensive area, the solar farm is entirely within the existing footprint of the site.
Diageo said the proposals have been planned to ensure minimal visual and environmental impact on the surrounding area.
Solar panels part of Diageo 10-year plan
The announcement forms part of Society 2030: Spirit of Progress, Diageo’s ambitious 10-year sustainability action plan designed to make a positive impact on the world by 2030.
Building on Diageo’s long-standing commitment to significant science-based action to create a sustainable low-carbon future.
Having reduced half of the carbon in its operations already, the business aims to remove the rest by 2030, harnessing 100% renewable energy everywhere it operates.
It has also committed to partnering with suppliers to reduce indirect carbon emissions by 50%.
Three of the company’s whisky distilleries – Oban, Royal Lochnagar and Brora – have already achieved net zero carbon emissions.