The O2 has taken another step forward in its efforts to become a carbon net zero venue by agreeing a partnership with wind energy company Alpha 311.

Under the deal, the London arena will become the first venue in the world to trial 10 of Alpha 311’s ground-breaking wind turbines. The British startup firm’s unique vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) are smaller, cheaper and more efficient than traditional turbines. The blades are built from recycled plastic and are themselves fully recyclable. The turbines can be retro-fitted to existing infrastructure.

Over nine million people visit The O2 in a normal year and with sustainability a major focus and main pillar of the venue’s Good Vibes All Round initiative – a platform for sharing The O2’s actions to fans, bands and brands – the arena is continuously looking for ways to maintain a reliable supply of 100% carbon-free electricity.

Historically, The O2 has sourced its 100% carbon-free electricity from offsite, grid scale resources. However, with the new installation of 10 kW of wind generation, The O2 could produce up to an estimated 87,600 kWhs a year, which is equivalent to the total electricity used by 23 British homes.

While this is overall a small portion of The O2’s energy needs, the venue’s owner and operator, AEG, said it is an “exciting new step” into the future of local and distributed 100% carbon free electricity generation.

Lee Lacey, facility director at The O2, said: “We are so incredibly excited to be collaborating with the team at Alpha 311 and be the first venue in the world to install their commercial wind turbines.

“We have been searching for a suitable wind generated power source to help reduce our GHG emissions and assist in our ambition to achieve a carbon net zero venue. The opportunity to provide a local on-site source of power generation is huge and we hope this trial provides the launch pad of many more installations not only at The O2 and other AEG venues but across the Greenwich Peninsula and throughout the UK.”

Alpha 311 began life in a garden shed in Whitstable, Kent, and has since attracted interest from around the world.

Alpha 311 CEO, Barry Thompson, added: “The Alpha 311 turbine was born in Britain with international aspirations, so it’s fitting that we’re working with the world’s most popular music, entertainment and leisure venue. It’s not just a London landmark, it’s a global icon, and we couldn’t be more proud, or thankful, for The O2’s belief in us.”

At The O2, a state-of-the-art waste compound, green cleaning program, ongoing energy reduction projects and on-site wormery and eco-digester are just some of the actions in place that have contributed to a 40% reduction in transport to site and less than 1% of waste going to landfill per year.

The O2 has surpassed its waste, water and greenhouse gas emissions targets every year since 2010.  The venue has been procuring green electricity for the entire site since 2015 and this has had a significant impact on reducing GHG emissions by around 6,000 metric tonnes each year.