23 October 2007 | Paul Snell
BT is to develop its own wind farms to supply a quarter of its future energy.
The telecoms group has started a £250 million renewable energy project, which it hopes will provide 250 megawatts (MW) of electricity for the company and prevent the release of 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The group has applied for planning permission in three sites in Cornwall, Orkney and Shetland, and is trying to identify further sites for development. It hopes to have 50 turbines operational by 2012, which will provide 100 MW.
Hanif Lalani, group finance director at BT, said in a statement: "BT has already achieved a 60 per cent reduction in its carbon emissions, and is committing to reducing them further, to 80 per cent by 2016. Our wind energy plans play an important part in reaching that target."
BT won the 2006 CIPS/SM award for contribution to corporate responsibility, partly due to renewable energy contracts that cut carbon dioxide emissions by 283,000 tonnes.
Jonathon Porritt, chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, commented: "This is an enormously significant decision. It's a substantial investment, guaranteeing very low carbon energy for BT for the foreseeable future, and precisely the kind of decisive, ambitious intervention companies are going to have to come forward with."