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Thursday, 02 July 2015

Drugs company's Ulverston site looks to tap into wind benefits

ENERGY provider Infinergy has announced Glaxo Ulverston pharmaceutical site has expressed an interest in buying power from a proposed Furness windfarm.

Infinergy has revealed it is in discussions with GlaxoSmithKline’s Ulverston site which is looking at options to source green power for its Cumbrian manufacturing facility where it makes active pharmaceutical ingredients for antibiotics.

Furness Wind Farm is a partnership project between Infinergy and community cooperative Baywind, which is seeking planning permission to replace Baywind’s existing five Harlock Hill wind turbines with five new turbines.

Infinergy said that if the proposed Furness Wind Farm gets the go ahead, Infinergy would own three wind turbines and Baywind would own two. GSK Ulverston potentially could use all of the electricity from Infinergy’s three new turbines, which could have an installed capacity of up to 6.9 megawatts.

The annual power output of these turbines could reduce the GSK site’s carbon footprint by approximately 25 per cent.

A GSK spokesman said: “In line with the company’s global drive to be more sustainable, GSK Ulverston has a target of reducing the site’s carbon footprint by 30 per cent by the end of 2014 compared with 2011.

“The Furness Wind Farm presents GSK with an opportunity to achieve this ambition.

“Competitively priced energy will also help to improve the site’s overall operating costs, enhancing Ulverston’s ability to increase output of active ingredients for antibiotics to take advantage of a growing global market.”

Last year, Glaxo announced Ulverston had been selected as the site for a new £350m biopharmaceutical facility. Construction is set to begin in 2014 and the new plant is expected to create hundreds of jobs.

A spokesman for Infinergy said: “With GSK Ulverston being a potential buyer of a substantial quantity of green electricity from the Furness Wind Farm, local stakeholder interest in the development has been boosted massively.

“Along with the Baywind Co-operative, which has many local shareholders and which would own the other two of the total of five turbines, local connections to the project are very strong.”

A Baywind spokesperson added: “GSK’s interest in Furness Wind Farm is fantastic news and we wholeheartedly welcome their support for the proposal.

“The involvement of a major Ulverston employer further strengthens the local benefits of the scheme. Through Baywind, local residents will also be offered the opportunity to buy affordable shares in the project.”


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