Co-op has announced a 15-year corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) with Voltalia, an international player in renewable energies, for the entire output of a 34-megawatt solar farm, located in North Yorkshire.
The consumer co-operative will source electricity for its estate, including food stores, distribution centres and Funeralcare homes from Voltalia’s Eastgate Solar project near Scarborough, which is set to be fully operational in 2025.
Early construction works have started on the farm and it will feature a total of 62,500 solar panels once complete. When all the solar panels are operating at maximum capacity, together they will provide enough electricity to supply up to 7.5 per cent of Co-op’s total electricity needs per year.
Co-op’s commitment will now unlock the investment required to build the solar plant and in turn help to add additional renewable generation to the UK, an important step as Co-op continues to call for energy market reform and work towards reaching Net Zero for its operations by 2035.
“The signing of this Corporate PPA is a significant milestone demonstrating Co-op’s goal to green the energy grid and create transparency in the renewable energy market,” Shirine Khoury-Haq, group chief executive, at the Co-op, said.
“Not only will this agreement unlock more green energy, it will also enable energy security, drive economic growth and move us closer to net zero. That’s why we still believe that grid decarbonisation should be an absolute priority for the government.”
Sébastien Clerc, chief executive of Voltalia, added: “We are very proud to support Co-op in their net carbon zero target by providing clean electricity in the food industry, reaching millions of individuals and enabling us to raise awareness of more sustainable and responsible consumption.”