Furness drugs firm expresses interest in buying energy from Harlock Hill wind farm

First published in Business The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A FURNESS pharmaceutical company has expressed an interest in buying green electricity from a proposed wind farm to power its manufacturing plant.

GlaxoSmithKline, which has a factory in Ulverston making active ingredients for antibiotics, has expressed an interest in sourcing power from a planned wind farm at nearby Harlock Hill.

The company has ‘ambit-ious’ global environmental targets, including becoming carbon neutral, and has been looking at green ene-rgy options at many of its operations. A spokesperson for GSK said utilising the wind farm would fit in well with the company’s sustainability strategy.

“GSK Ulverston has a target of reducing the site’s carbon footprint by 30 per cent by the end of 2014 compared with 2011, and the Furness wind farm presents GSK with an opportunity to achieve this ambition,” he said.

“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.”

The wind farm, four miles east of the town, is a partnership project between Dorset-based Infinergy and community co-operative Baywind, based in Barrow, which is seeking planning permission to re-power Baywind’s existing Harlock Hill turbines with five new machines.

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Should the development go ahead, Infinergy would own three turbines and Baywind the other two. And staff at Infinergy were delighted at the possible business link.

A spokesperson said: “With GSK Ulverston being a potential buyer of a substantial quantity of green electricity from the wind farm, local stakeholder interest in the development has been boosted massively.

“Along with the Baywind Co-operative, which has many local shareholders, local connections to the project are very strong.”

Baywind secretary Annette Heslop 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.

“Local residents will be offered the opportunity to buy affordable shares in the project, and we will be using local contractors to build the turbines.”

South Lakeland District Council delayed the wind farm decision in October, and those involved said they had been working on landscape and visual concerns raised by planners.

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