Japanese energy firm establishes presence in Scotland

A Japanese energy company which buys renewable power from small independent producers has opened its first Scottish office.

SmartestEnergy, owned by the Marubeni Corporation, already buys enough energy from Scottish suppliers to power a city the size of Aberdeen. The company said it had opened a base in Glasgow to bring it closer to its generators in Scotland, which include the Udny community wind turbine and Aberdeen & Northern Eggs at Strichen which has its own wind turbine.

SmartestEnergy said it worked with 50 suppliers in Scotland with a combined capacity of more than 250MW, which it then supplies to 240 corporate customers including Marks & Spencer and Toyota Motor Manufacturing through the National Grid.

Hiroyuki Sawada, SmartestEnergy’s chief operating officer, said Scotland had been an important market for the firm since it was set up 10 years ago.

He said: “Steep rises in energy costs and incentives such as the feed-in tariffs have made investing in generation an increasingly attractive option and we are now seeing record levels of interest from Scottish energy entrepreneurs looking to reduce costs, generate new income streams and become more sustainable.

“We believe establishing a permanent office is an important signal of our confidence in the market in Scotland.”

SmartestEnergy said it was the largest purchaser and supplier of electricity generated by independent organisations and bought power from 500 producers.

It has annual turnover approaching £1billion and employs more than 100 people in offices in London and Ipswich.