Diageo’s environmental manager Jay Christie and operations director Gavin Brogan at the Leven bottling and packaging site, which produces 40 million cases of spirit every year. Image: Diageo.

Beverage company Diageo has been given the green light by Fife council for the construction of its 4.1MW solar farm.

The site will sit on vacant land within the company’s Leven packaging site, with 9,000 solar panels now set to be installed from July. The solar farm will meet up to 22% of the site’s annual electricity needs and up to 60% over summer months.

Diageo submitted the planning application for the site in July 2021. E.ON and Scottish-based Emtec Energy will deliver the site, which is scheduled to be operational by early 2023.

Gavin Brogan, operations director at Diageo Leven, said: “It’s fantastic to make this project a reality, creating a more resilient and energy-efficient plant. Working in partnership with E.ON and Emtec Energy, the solar array will generate nearly a quarter of our annual energy use and is a fantastic step forward towards meeting our net zero commitments.

“We have a number of those projects in the pipeline, including looking into sustainable heating solutions which the solar farm development will help to power.”

The solar farm forms a key part of Diageo – which produces drinks including Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff vodka, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness – Society 2030: Spirit of Progress commitment, which includes a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2026.