Scottish onshore wind farm slashes its own power consumption with LEDs

April 6, 2023
Glamox replaces fluorescents at the 539MW facility, which is the UK’s largest on land.

Norwegian LED lighting vendor Glamox AS continues to make a name for itself on the environmental front, this time providing about 200 luminaires to the UK’s largest onshore wind farm.

Oslo-based Glamox has been a prominent supplier to the offshore wind sector, benefiting its revenue growth. The new project at the 539MW Whitelee Windfarm in Scotland, 10 miles south of Glasgow, underscores its commitment to land-based projects as well.

The company’s Basingstoke, England–based division — Glamox Luxonic — has lit three different buildings at the ScottishPower facility in Eaglesham: the site’s central office, its control center, and its visitor center, which includes a cafe as well as exhibition and learning areas.

The 200 LED luminaires mostly replace fluorescent tubes. Many of them have tablet-operated wireless controls and also house motion detectors that switch lights on, off, or to the suitable brightness level as needed, which adds to the energy savings benefits of the low-energy LED lights. Glamox provided about 15 different varieties of luminaires including downlights, panels, linear, suspended, and outdoor columns and floodlights, among others.

The replacement took about 6 weeks in late 2022.

“As we work to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net zero targets, we must lead by example and show how we’re making the transition to a cleaner and greener future a reality,” said ScottishPower general services director Gemma Rankine. “That’s not just about increasing the amount of 100% green electricity we produce — it’s also about changing how we work and investing in energy-efficient technologies at our workplaces, so we become a cleaner and greener business and reduce our own carbon footprint. Energy-saving initiatives like this smart LED lighting project play an important role in making that happen — reducing both our energy usage and costs.”

ScottishPower, owned by Spain’s Iberdrola, S.A., prides itself on a green ethos. It sold off its gas- and coal-fired stations in 2018. It now generates electricity only by wind, although its mix includes electricity generated via other means by other suppliers. It is gearing up to pilot hydrogen production using wind turbines. Its 215-turbine Whitelee site includes walking paths and cycle ways.

In addition to Whitelee, Glamox has supplied around 1,000 luminaires to 19 other ScottishPower wind farms over the last year. It is also in the midst of replacing fluorescent tubes at ScottishPower headquarters in Glasgow, where the utility hopes the new LED luminaires and smart controls will cut its own electricity consumption by around 80%.

Glamox has visions of weaving sensors into windfarm infrastructure to assist in the operational aspect of running wind farms, such as helping to adjust blade angles to maximize output.

In another recent sustainability development, Glamox has started to use recycled aluminum in some of its luminaires.

Other vendors such as Signify, Fagerhult, and Acuity are also upping their attention to green practices.

Some industry players are also poised to enhance their environmental kudos by producing more luminaires and subsystems via 3D printing methods, which is the subject of the 3D Printing for Lighting Conference this Aug. 20–24 in San Diego, jointly run by the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and SPIE, the Bellingham, Wash.–based optics and photonics society.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.