Green company launches merchant wind power initiative

Green electricity company Ecotricity has launched a merchant wind power initiative to offer organisations an exclusive source of electricity from their own on-site or off-site wind turbine. Ecotricity will build, own and operate the turbines to supply electricity directly to customers rather than via the national grid. The wind turbines are built without subsidy and the electricity is supplied at market prices. Dale Vince of Ecotricity says: "There is a lot of pressure on organisations to cut down their carbon emissions and this approach provides cost free, carbon free electricity with long term security." Ecotricity's first merchant wind power project is in East Kilbride, Scotland, at the chilled groceries depot of the supermarket group Sainsbury's. A 600 kW on-site turbine provides over one-third of the energy used by the depot. The turbine will save 1645 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. "This green opportunity for British industry arises from the creative application of innovative technology," says energy minister Brian Wilson, who opened the project. "We have introduced a number of measures to make green energy more competitive. But government action is not enough on its own. Industry must put forward ideas and investment, as has happened in this case."