Ranjit Boparan is to invest millions in a renewable energy programme for his UK and European poultry business.

Boparan’s 2 Sisters business has submitted more than 40 planning applications for solar PV and wind turbine projects in the past two months in a bid to make its chicken farms as self-sufficient in energy as possible. If the applications are granted approval, the company hopes to save an estimated 20,000 tonnes of CO2 per year in the ­initial phase of the programme at 25 farms which represent a quarter of the ­estate.

The first full solar PV panels went live at a chicken farm near Scunthorpe at the end of July and 2 Sisters expects to have its first wind turbines and biomass boiler installed by the end of the year. It has also launched trials for other renewable energy technologies, including ground source heat pumps and heat exchangers.

Boparan intends to build on the investments, currently limited to the chicken sites, and said there was potential to expand them across other 2 Sisters and Northern Foods sites though he stressed these businesses were more energy-intensive than the chicken hatcheries.

The initiative would significantly cut energy costs and benefit customers in the supply chain in the longer term, he said. “Alongside our five-year plan towards becoming carbon neutral, we’re making a significant investment in a number of renewable projects,” he said. “Our first operational solar PV project shows we’re continually working to deliver highest-quality products at the lowest cost, by using energy more efficiently.”