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Voltalia Signs 15-year Solar Agreement with Co-op For A Greener Future

Voltalia Signs 15-year Solar Agreement with Co-op For A Greener Future

Voltalia Co-op

Voltalia and Co-op have forged a ground-breaking sustainable partnership for green electricity supply in the UK. The Eastgate Solar project located near Scarborough in North Yorkshire is set to transform Co-op’s power sourcing. 
Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer cooperatives and Voltalia is an international player in renewable energies and a multi-source electricity provider (wind, solar, hydropower, and biomass).

Voltalia has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Co-op to supply it with the entire output from the 34MW Eastgate solar farm. Under the 15-year agreement, Co-op will source electricity for its UK estate, which includes food stores, distribution centres, and Funeralcare homes from the Eastgate solar farm. When all the solar panels are operating at maximum capacity it will provide 7.5% of Co-op’s electricity needs annually and is expected to be operational in 2025. Early construction work has begun on the solar farm which will consist of 62,500 solar panels and will produce approximately 34,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year. This is enough to power over 170 Co-op food stores, 500 Co-op Funeralcare homes, or indeed, 12,500 homes.

This formidable facility marks a crucial milestone as Co-op actively backs energy market reform and strives to achieve Net Zero for its operations by 2035. The agreement with Co-op highlights Voltalia’s position as a leader in offering Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) solutions to corporations and organizations.

Voltalia leverages its expertise and proven track record across the renewable infrastructure value chain to deliver competitive and low-risk energy solutions. It has also taken an important stride forward by making an early start on construction activities for the Eastgate Solar farm. 

Shirine Khoury-Haq, group CEO at the Co-op, declared the agreement a significant milestone on the company's journey towards net zero emissions and called on the government to step up its efforts to accelerate the development of renewable energy projects. The agreement demonstrates Co-op’s goal to green the energy grid and to create transparency in the renewable energy market.

"Not only will this agreement unlock more green energy, but 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. While businesses have a part to play, reform to allow much more rapid progress for projects such as the Eastgate solar project is urgently needed."

Shirine Khoury-Haq applauded the significant progress the UK has made to date but said that the UK remained too reliant on fossil fuels. She argued that ambitious targets alone won’t deliver the benefits that a Net Zero grid will deliver. Bold targets need to be accompanied by sweeping reforms. A Net Zero grid would bring energy security, lower generation costs, and a better outcome for the planet that is so seriously needed.

Just this week the UK government announced a series of reforms as part of its Autumn statement to ease planning and grid connection delays for clean energy projects. However, Shirine Khoury-Haq pressed ministers to do more to remove some of the barriers renewables developers currently face.

She said:

"Whilst businesses have a part to play, reform to allow much more rapid progress for projects such as the Eastgate solar project is urgently needed. Whilst the significant progress the UK has made to date is to be applauded, as a country, we remain too reliant on fossil fuels, and ambitious targets alone won't deliver the benefits that a net zero grid will deliver, from energy security to lower generation costs to the better outcome for the planet that's so desperately needed."

Voltalia’s deal with the Co-op builds on their already very impressive portfolio which features an astounding 2.7GW of wind, solar, biomass, and storage capacity with a whopping 16.1GW of projects in progress across three continents. 

Sébastien Clerc, CEO of Voltalia, said: 

"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.”

At the same time as the Eastgate Solar project is being developed, the clean energy juggernaut Lightsource BP has extended an invitation to join a collaborative, European multi-buyer corporate PPA. This is a visionary endeavour designed to encompass a large number of solar assets set for construction in Spain in 2024. The highly innovative Lightsource BP has introduced a collective PPA framework that can empower smaller and mid-sized firms to access the PPA market. This initiative promises to reshape the clean energy landscape and equalise access to renewable power.

With alliances like the one between Voltalia and the Co-op and the pioneering efforts of Lightsource BP, a new era of sustainable energy is on the horizon which can propel us even closer to a net zero future. 
Zosia Riesner, director of power markets at Lightsource BP, described the move as an opportunity to spread the benefits of solar power to a wider group of companies.

"We've seen some of the world's largest businesses using PPAs to benefit from the affordable and predictable pricing of renewables while supporting the energy transition's continuing momentum. Our collective PPA approach can share those benefits to companies with far lower energy usage while enjoying the scale delivered by a solar portfolio from our 1GW pipeline in late stage of development in Spain."


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