A SENIOR union figure has raised concerns about Amazon’s megadeal to power its UK operations from a North-east windfarm.
Amazon has signed agreement with Engie to procure 473MW of renewable energy from the Moray West windfarm, more than half of the project’s clean power capacity.
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The delivery giant says the deal will help power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.
Moray West is being developed by Ocean Winds, a partnership between Engie, a French company, and EDP Renewables, based in Spain.
However, critics say that a wind farm owned by foreign companies, built with mostly imported components, and selling its power to a business run from the US, does little to help the UK cut carbon emissions or build the UK’s renewables supply chain.
It is understood that Moray West is sourcing parts from suppliers such as Lamprell, a UAE-based business, while it also receives turbine components from China’s Dajin.
Gary Cook, the GMB union’s senior organiser for manufacturing in Scotland, believes deals like that of Amazon’s show how the expansion of wind farms in Scottish waters is mainly benefiting global corporations at the expense of British workers and households.
“These wind farms are owned by foreign companies, built by foreign workers and sell their power to foreign corporations,” he told the Sunday Telegraph.
“They may generate green power but they aren’t generating any jobs or decarbonising any homes – and most of the profits go abroad too.
“We were once promised that the UK would become the Saudi Arabia of wind but what we are being turned into is a manufacturing dustbowl.”
Amazon said the construction of Moray West would generate 1,000 jobs in Scotland, and provide 70 longer-term roles after it had been built.
The project, part of the Engie’s 6GW portfolio of secured offshore wind farms in the UK, is expected to inject up to £500million in the local Scottish economy throughout its lifespan.
When asked about its deal with Moray West, Amazon argues that the agreement will boost the entire wind industry – rather than just improving its own green credentials.
A spokesman says: “Corporate support of new renewable energy projects like Moray West and others helps open up the market for additional wind and solar farms, and accelerates the decarbonisation of electricity grids in the UK and around the world.”