Co-op Group signs 15-year deal to source energy from solar farm

The agreement aims to ‘increase energy security, boost economic development and help us achieve net zero in our own operations by 2035’

The Co-op Group has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to source clean energy produced from ScottishPower Renewables’ Coldham solar farm in Cambridgeshire.

Under this agreement, the Group will take 100% of the electricity produced from over 19,000 state-of-the-art solar panels at the 9mW site.

It will source electricity for its estate, including food stores, distribution centres and Funeralcare homes across the UK, over a 15-year period, to increase energy security and accelerate its path towards decarbonisation.

ScottishPower Renewables will supply the Group with a peak capacity of 9mW of clean energy – enough to power the equivalent of around 55 Co-op food stores, equal to 2,000 homes.

Shirine Khoury-Haq, CEO of the Group, said: “The launch of Coldham solar farm, as a result of our PPA with ScottishPower Renewables, shows Co-op’s commitment to achieving net zero. This agreement means more renewable energy will be generated, and in doing so increase energy security, boost economic development and help us achieve net zero in our own operations by 2035.

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“We maintain that the government should make decarbonising the grid a top priority. However, businesses still have their part to play, and this solar farm is a further step in Co-op’s approach to renewable energy procurement through a mixture of PPAs and embedded generation.”

Charlie Jordan, CEO, ScottishPower Renewables, said: “We’re delighted to partner with companies that understand the importance of decarbonising their operations. By securing long-term commitments, PPAs provide stability, certainty, and ultimately accelerate our journey towards a greener, more resilient energy landscape.”

The Coldham solar farm has been developed as part of ScottishPower Renewables’ organic pipeline. It’s co-located with SPR’s existing Coldham windfarm and benefits from existing efficiencies with the site in terms of land, grid connections and other operating elements.

ScottishPower Renewables hopes the site will also provide a wide range of resources for local wildlife to prosper having planted 7,500 native trees and a diverse mix of grassland plants.

The news of Coldham solar farm’s launch follows on from the Group’s recent signing of a 15-year CPPA for the entire output of a 34mW solar farm in North Yorkshire, which is set to be fully operational in 2025.