The two Bristol-based companies share a commitment to supporting the city’s ambitious carbon-neutral target by driving renewable energy growth and making green energy more accessible to all.
The new power purchase agreement (PPA) for the electricity generated by Thrive’s 2.75MW wind turbine at Ness Point, England’s most easterly point, will provide enough energy for 2,225 UK homes. The agreement for the 0.8MW Auchtygills turbine in Aberdeenshire will power an additional 700 homes.
“Bristol declared a climate emergency and rolled out ambitious plans to become carbon-neutral. This means that collaborations across the city are now vital to deliver these goals and reduce harmful emissions,” said Matthew Clayton, Managing Director at Thrive. “This deal is a positive step on Bristol’s journey.”
In 1998, Bristol City Council and Thrive separately became renewable energy trailblazers. The council became one of the first local authorities to buy renewable electricity and Thrive invested in its first wind farm – Haverigg.
Twenty years on, Thrive now has a portfolio of 17 renewable energy projects. And, Bristol has set itself the ambitious target of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, with the council recently announcing it had cut its own carbon emissions by 71%, two years ahead of schedule. The council has also launched its City Leap project to help significantly reduce carbon emissions and build a resilient city where no one is left behind.
Simon Proctor, renewables and origination manager at Bristol Energy, says: “This deal is an important part of our purpose to create a sustainable energy company, which has social value at its heart. We believe one of the most socially responsible things we can do is to get to supplying 100% renewable energy and this deal will help us in our journey. And importantly – the value from the deal is retained locally.”
Providing accessible renewable energy is a key objective for Thrive and Bristol Energy. The organisations – which are both headquartered in the city centre, by College Green and Temple Meads respectively – are enabling people to get involved by investing in Thrive’s renewable energy schemes or by signing up Bristol Energy’s 100% green tariff.
The deal was completed on e-POWER, an online auction, which enables independent renewable energy generators to sell clean electricity to utilities.
Ness Point, in Lowestoft is the most easterly point in England and the turbine sits right on the sea wall, making the most of winds whipping in off the North Sea.
Since Thrive invested in the project, the Orbis Energy Centre has been established next door, which is a flagship focus for the east of England's renewables network and home to a range of established and innovative organisations supporting the sector.
Auchtygills wind farm
The Auchtygills turbine is a single, 0.8MW machine built near Strichen in Aberdeenshire. The Auchtygills project makes an annual community benefit payment to the local council. This payment is used by the council to carry out sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental improvements to existing housing stock in the area and to contribute to educational and art projects in the area through the local Mintlaw Academy.
Bristol Energy is forging ahead with its plan to create a sustainable energy company with social value at its heart. From local job creation to staff volunteer days, carbon reduction activities and well-being initiatives, such as training mental health first aiders, Bristol Energy has put an estimated £6.8m of social value back into Bristol.
The company supplies over 165,000 residential meter points and 4,500 business meter points and is growing its portfolio of renewable energy with 54 contracts with independent, renewable generators. In 2018/19, renewables accounted for 75% of its supply, up from 51% in 2017/18. Bristol Energy has achieved this substantial growth by working with renewable energy investment companies and generators, like Thrive, through PPAs.