ScottishPower is looking to contract Scottish farmers to produce 250,000 tonnes of energy crops to be burned at Scotland’s two coal fired power stations, Cockenzie and Longannet. The energy crop will displace coal burned in the stations.
Energy crops provide carbon neutral fuel as the CO2 that is released when the crop is burned is equal to the CO2 that is captured as the plant is grown. ScottishPower already burn carbon neutral biomass such as wood at the coal fired power stations as part of their renewable programme.
The project will use about 12% of Scotland’s total agricultural land – roughly 35,000 hectares -- with 5 % of the company’s coal requirement displaced by energy crops by 2013.
The energy crops will be a mix of crop types including cereal crops and short rotational crop such as willow coppice ScottishPower, part of the Iberdrola group, plans to maximize the use of set aside, and minimize the effect on land used for food crop.
ScottishPower is already the UK’s largest generator and developer and operator of on-shore wind energy and this is the latest strategic initiative toward reduced carbon emissions.
Frank Mitchell, ScottishPower’s Generation Director, said: “This is a significant step in our renewable energy programme ultimately displacing 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year. However, it is also an excellent opportunity for farmers with ScottishPower offering support for the Scottish agricultural community”.
Simon McMillan: 0141 566 4875 / 07753 622 257