Aberdeenshire ice cream makers Mackie’s has celebrated the “tremendous” milestone of generating 100 million kWh of energy through its wind turbines.
The green power produced by the company’s turbines since 2005 is enough to supply 2,500 family homes with electricity for 10 years.
As well as investing in its four wind turbines, Mackie’s of Scotland has also pursued other methods of reducing its carbon footprint.
In 2015, it installed two biomass boilers to replace oil-fired heating boilers in the company’s offices and staff housing.
And when the sun happens to be shining in the north-east, Mackie’s is able to harness its energy with its solar farm.
How long has Mackie’s been using wind power?
Mackie’s first installed a wind turbine in 1983 to generate electricity for the company’s Westertown Farm, north of Inverurie.
The business went on to hook up three more turbines, and currently they produce around 50% more energy than Mackie’s requires, and so the extra electricity is sold onto the grid as green energy.
Colin Anderson, a renewable energy consulting engineer, has worked with Mackie’s since he was first brought in in 1992 for turbine repair work.
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 1980s.”
“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.”
He added: “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.”
Looking towards the future
The company is currently installing a new low carbon refrigeration system at a cost of £4.5 million, which is designed to cut the farm’s energy use by 80%.
Mackie’s of Scotland managing director Mac Mackie said: “We are continuing to invest in new methods which will increase our renewable potential and cut down on 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.”