Since it opened its first UK office in 2006, Statkraft has invested £1.4billion in the UK’s renewable energy infrastructure, helping the country to achieve its net zero targets.
More than £200million of this has been invested in renewable energy projects in Scotland, where the Norwegian state-owned company has also opened an office in Glasgow.
First established more than a hundred years ago, the company has been committed to making clean energy possible, long before climate change was a climate crisis. As Europe’s largest renewable energy producer, it continues to lead the shift to renewable energy, investing 100 per cent of its growth in renewables.
Every year, it publishes its Low Emissions Scenario Report, an analysis of developments in the global energy markets. The analysis is used as a foundation for Statkraft’s future investments. The newly published sixth annual report highlights the need for greater action if we are to achieve the 1.5 degree global temperature increase target, saying that while renewables must remain at the core of this focus, more must be done to advance clean hydrogen.
Within the UK, Statkraft sees the expansion of wind power on a grand scale as the most-effective technology to enable the country to achieve its climate targets and is at the forefront of the development of onshore wind across Britain.
Statkraft has built and operates four wind farms, with two in construction amounting to a total installed capacity of 260MW, with a further 49MW at its hydropower plant in Wales.
In 2020, it was awarded four grid stability projects by the operator of the national grid – two in Keith and two in Liverpool – to help achieve its ambition of delivering a zero carbon grid by 2025. A year later saw the launch of Mer, Statkraft’s electric vehicle charging network in the UK.
The company’s contribution towards renewable energy generation and the stability of its supply is set to grow exponentially. It has 14 projects at developmental stage, across Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Construction of the Keith Greener Grid Park is nearing completion, an innovative project using two rotating stabilisers manufactured by GE Power Conversion to increase the amount of renewable energy that can be accepted for transmission and distribution on the national grid.
It is one of three projects being progressed in Moray. An application is presently with the Scottish Government for an extension to Berry Burn Wind Farm. Operational since 2014, Berry Burn’s 29 turbines power the equivalent of 48,000 homes with renewable energy. The addition of nine modern wind turbines installed would power the equivalent of 35,500 additional homes.
Plans are also in progress for Craig Watch Wind Farm, approximately 8km southeast of Dufftown. If approved, work to install the wind farm could begin in 2024. Other Scottish projects being developed range from Energy Isles Wind Farm in Shetland to Knockcronal in South Ayrshire.
Benefits from the various projects go far beyond the production of renewable energy. A big part of the Statkraft story is its commitment to working at local level and being a good neighbour, establishing community liaison groups, providing opportunities for local investment and generating significant economic and community benefits.
Local companies are encouraged to sign up to become a supplier for each project. Around 80 business registered for the chance to be involved in the £20 million Keith Greener Grid Park. Companies which benefit range from those involved in the construction process through to hotels, restaurants and B&Bs.
Community benefit funds are set up alongside each new wind project and over the past 10 years, Statkraft has distributed more than £3.5million to the communities around its projects.
Berry Burn Wind Farm as an example, provides a community benefit fund worth over £190,000 per annum. Since the fund was established, Statkraft has invested over £1.1million in the local community across educational, environmental, sporting and cultural sectors.