ERG Group holds inauguration event in Upper Nithsdale, Dumfries and Galloway and celebrates opening of new UK HQ in Edinburgh

The inauguration of the ERG’s Sandy Knowe wind farm will be held today in Upper Nithsdale, Dumfries and Galloway, alongside the inauguration of the Group’s UK offices in Edinburgh. 

ERG Group is an independent producer of energy from renewable sources, committed to supporting the energy and ecological transition.

It is the leading wind operator in Italy, among the top ten onshore wind operators in Europe with a presence in nine countries and is also active in solar power generation in Italy, France and Spain. 

The Group has been in the UK since 2016 with a pipeline of wind projects which is currently at a very advanced stage, with more than 200 MW of onshore wind projects being commissioned or in construction in the last 12 months, of which almost 180MW at the final stage in Scotland.

Yesterday a delegation of the ERG's top management including Alessandro Garrone, Executive Vice President of the Group, and Paolo Merli, CEO of ERG, met the UK ERG team based in Edinburgh for an update on the company’s development plan in the country.


Paolo Merli CEO of ERG


Alessandro Garrone, Executive Vice President of ERG


The internal meeting was followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony to inaugurate the office that was opened during the pandemic.

The Italian Ambassador to the UK, Inigo Lambertini, and Consul General of Italy for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Veronica Ferrucci, as well as other Scottish and Italian institutional representatives took part to the ceremony and had the chance to be introduced to the Group’s presence and ambitions in the UK and on how ERG is keen to share ideas and work with policymakers and local communities to promote best-practices and support the UK’s energy transition ambitions.

At the same occasion, ERG hosted one of its ERGLab roundtable discussions focused on the planning regime in Scotland. 

At the roundtable, which was participated by local developers and energy lawyers, as well as a Scottish Government official, ERG shared its knowledge on the upcoming National Planning Framework (NPF4) which is aimed at ensuring that sufficient new renewables capacity is built in Scotland to achieve the ambitious targets set by the Scottish Government, and to make the country more independent on fossil fuel imports and keep energy bills down. 

ERG also shared its experience with planning from developing projects in Scotland and listed where it believes improvements could be made to accelerate the transition to cleaner and cheaper energy sources. 

An important step in this regard is to start considering the development of renewables – and thereby the fight against climate change – as an overarching public interest, in order to take it into account when evaluating the benefits of new developments on 
the wider population. Such a consideration has been introduced in Germany and at the EU level.  

Today the Group will visit the Sandy Knowe Wind Farm that has just begun operation with an initial 50MW capacity, whereas the remaining 36MW will start generation during the first quarter of 2023, earlier than set out in ERG’s 2022-2026 business plan.


Sandy Knowe wind farm in operation


Comprised of 24 turbines, with a total installed capacity of 86.4MW, the Sandy Knowe site, wen fully operational, will be capable of generating 250GWh of electricity per year, powering up to 55,308 homes and reducing CO2 emissions by 106,200 tons.

ERG has also secured a 10-year fixed-price Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Engie. 

With this renewable asset, ERG wants to support both Scotland’s sustainable development and its rural and green economies. 

To this purpose, the Group has also recently announced an important development in the UK through the acquisition of the Corlacky Wind Farm in Northern Ireland, a project of the highest standard which represents an opportunity to reinforce the Group's geographic diversification. 

The plant will consist of 11 turbines for an expected total installed capacity of up to 47MW, corresponding to an estimated annual electricity output of circa 175 GWh, a save about 80 kilotons of CO2 emissions, producing the estimated energy needs of over 42,000 households. ERG sees the energy transition, and therefore clean energy production, as an opportunity for a just change, where nobody is left behind. 

We are therefore building close relations with local communities at both our Scottish wind farms, Creag Riabhach and Sandy Knowe. 

At both wind farms, within the Community Benefit scheme, we are contributing to a fund set up by the local community with amounts in line with Scottish Government’s Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits. 

We also gave the local communities of Kirkconnel, Kelloholm and Sanquhar the opportunity of community ownership for the Sandy Knowe wind farm. 

Regarding the dwellers of Sutherland County, thanks to our Creag Riabhach wind farm, we have agreed to set up a Local Electricity Discount Scheme.

During the construction works we always pay attention to local suppliers, working side-by-side with them; for example, at the Sandy Knowe wind farm we put in place a price advantage of 5% for local companies.

As the world moves to renewables, ERG is proud to be contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by investing in wind energy across the UK.