Wind of change: COP26 powered by 100% traceable SSE energy

By John Pinching
Scottish wind powers COP26 with 100% traceable SSE renewable energy

Mercifully, COP26 is being powered by 100% renewable energy generated at SSE’s Griffin Wind Farm in Scotland's 'big county' of Perthshire. 

The energy supplied to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) venues hosting the summit has been traced back to the Scottish wind farm, confirming that the mains energy being used by delegates is both 100% Scottish and, indeed, 100% renewable.

SSE Energy Solutions is providing the power for all three COP26 permanent venues on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow. The company has been able to pinpoint the exact origin of the summit’s power supply because renewable energy can be traced back to specific wind farms operated by SSE Renewables.

High five

The SEC is made up of five interconnected exhibition spaces, a 3,000 seat auditorium and a 14,300 capacity arena. The campus made the switch to 100% green energy in 2020 as part of its long-term sustainability strategy. 

Nikki Flanders, Managing Director of Energy Customer Solutions, said: “Businesses are increasingly looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Traceability and transparency of where our energy comes from allows companies to be sure they are operating with as clean an energy source as possible. With SSE Green Electricity matched to a specific renewable asset, they can be confident when engaging with investors, employees and customers.

“As the world comes together at COP26 to unite against climate change, it’s fitting that The SEC has chosen to be powered by clean Scottish wind."

“As principal partners at COP26, we understand that strong leadership and ambition will be vital in the race to net zero. It’s great to see The SEC lead the way in choosing clean energy solutions when the eyes of the world are on Scotland,” she added.

The SEC’s commitment to traceable, renewable electricity highlights the growing demand from businesses to understand where their energy comes from. 

Change makers

Many organisations are aligning with COP26 objectives to beat climate change by setting themselves ambitious sustainability goals amid increasing demand from shareholders, customers and employees.

Billy McFadyen, Director of Finance and Development at The SEC, added “We’ve been committed to choosing 100% green electricity for our venues for some time now, which sets our clear intentions about our climate change ambitions throughout the course of COP26 and beyond.

“SSE is doing a fantastic job of providing energy solutions and infrastructure to help organisations like us decarbonise. We’ve been working closely with them for a number of years to ensure that our energy supply comes from renewable sources and they are supporting us in our longer term sustainability strategy.” 

The temporary structures which have been erected for COP26 are not powered by SSE.

SSE is the largest generator of renewable electricity across the UK and Ireland. It has 42 wind farms and 52 hydro power stations, plus another 7GW of on- and off-shore wind power in the pipeline.

SSE Energy Solutions has already supplied upwards of 70,000 customers with 100% renewable electricity. Over the past five years, this has resulted in over six million tonnes less carbon in the atmosphere compared to the equivalent power generated by fossil fuels.

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