ONE of Scotland’s largest food and drink brands has generated more than one hundred gigawatt hours of renewable energy through its wind turbines.
The climate positive family business, Mackie’s of Scotland, saw the meter on its three original turbines tick back to zero, after it had reached the 100 million kWh mark last month.
Mackie’s has been generating power from its wind turbines since 2005, and has produced enough energy to supply 2,500 family homes with electricity for 10 years1, or drive an electric car around the world more than 14,000 times2.
The Aberdeenshire farming business is continually investing in ways to reduce its footprint, from wind turbines to its solar panel array. Mackie’s is currently installing a £4.5 million low carbon refrigeration system which will cut the farm’s energy use by up to 80%.
Renewable energy consulting engineer and long-time Mackie’s collaborator, Colin Anderson, believes this to be a significant milestone.
He said, “This is a tremendous feat for Mackie’s and certainly stands as one of the most influential accomplishments in renewable energy production by a private business.
“Mackie’s has been a trailblazer in renewable energy production, becoming one of the first companies to install its own wind turbine in the 1980’s. It now has the capabilities to harness wind and solar energy, as well as biomass.
“Attitudes have continued to change over the years, and there is an increased acceptance and understanding of the benefits renewable energy generators, such as wind farms, can bring.
“More and more businesses are looking at ways in which they can produce their own renewable energy following the template set by Mackie’s.
“Scotland’s potential for renewable energy is one of the greatest in Europe, and through developing these technologies our nation’s dependence on fossil fuel-based electricity can be reduced.”
Mackie’s first installed a wind turbine in 1983 generating electricity at the farm for just under a decade. Colin was brought in by Mackie’s in 1992 to help repair the turbine which then delivered power for a further six years.
In 2005, the Aberdeenshire farm called upon Colin’s expertise once again to install a larger and more modern wind turbine to supply their farm and ice cream dairy, and a further two turbines were erected in 2007 and the final fourth turbine was installed in 2015.
The turbines produce around 50% more energy than Mackie’s require to run their business, with the surplus electricity sold into the grid as green energy for the surrounding communities to use.
Mac Mackie, Managing Director at Mackie’s of Scotland, said: “We are continuing to invest in new methods which will increase our renewable potential and cut down our carbon footprint.
“Reaching 100 million kWh is a significant landmark for the farm and we are looking forward to hitting the 200 million mark in the years to come.”
Mackie’s of Scotland has been climate positive since 2007. Its renewable energy is derived from a mix of wind, solar and biomass energy that produce over 8.5 GWh of electricity each year.
The fourth generation family farm’s ‘sky to scoop’ ethos sees the brand create everything, from dairy products from its own herd to its packaging, as well as other ingredients on site.