Axpo to supply Italian Unilever plants with power from its own wind farm

08.03.2018 - The Unilever Group is focusing on electricity from renewable sources: From 2018 to 2020, the company will procure the electricity for its plants in Italy from the Southern Italian wind farm WinBis, which is owned by Axpo. The conclusion of this contract marks the starting shot for the “Axpo Green Energy” programme, a new type of certification for renewable energies in Italy.

The Axpo wind farm WinBis is located on the ridges of the Southern Apennine Mountains. WinBis has 22 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 66 MW. Four of the 22 wind turbines are now turning exclusively for Unilever: From 2018 to 2020, the electricity for the Unilever Group’s Italian plants, which manufacture foodstuffs and chemical products, will come from the WinBis wind farm.

The rotor blades of these four windmills generate an average of some 20 million kWh of electricity per year. This corresponds to the power consumption of the Unilever plants in Italy. With procurement of power from the WinBis wind farm, the company will save over 7,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions. In addition, the electricity delivered to Unilever is not just certified as “green” electricity according to proof of origin, but comes from a dedicated generation plant. Naturally, not all the electricity that the wind turbines produce will be physically used in the Unilever plants located all over Italy. The wind farm will, however, generate the entire energy volume that the plants procure from the Italian power grid in the course of a year. This will be documented and certified in a quarterly report. Should the wind farm be unavailable, Axpo Italia will ensure power deliveries to Unilever from comparable renewable energy sources.

In doing so, Unilever makes sure that its products in Italy are produced and packaged in an environmentally friendly supply chain. For Axpo Italia this is the first so-called “Axpo Green Energy” power supply contract with a dedicated system, and it represents a very differentiated solution in comparison to other certification programmes for the use of renewable energy sources. Once again Axpo Italia is taking on a leading role: In past years, the Axpo subsidiary with headquarters in Genoa has established itself in its home market, and made Italy one of the most important markets for the Axpo Group. The focus of business activities in Italy is on major customers such as Unilever, as well as SMEs, and private customers.

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