Coldham solar farm in Cambridgeshire

Source: Co-op

The retailer will take 100% of the electricity produced from the solar farm 

Co-op has signed a long-term deal to power the equivalent of 55 food stores with renewable energy produced from a solar farm in Coldham, Cambridgeshire.

Under the 15-year agreement, the convenience retailer will take the entire electricity output produced from 19,000 solar panels at the nine-megawatt site, which is owned by ScottishPower Renewables.

It will also be sharing the electricity sourced for its distribution centres and funeral homes, Co-op added, as it “accelerates its path towards decarbonisation”.

“The launch of Coldham solar farm, as a result of our PPA with ScottishPower Renewables, shows Co-op’s commitment to achieving net zero,” said Co-op CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq.

“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.

“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.”

ScottishPower Renewables CEO Charlie Jordan 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 new Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) follows Co-op’s recent signing of a 15-year contract to take the entire output of a 34-megawatt solar farm located in North Yorkshire. This is set to be fully operational in 2025 and expected to produce 7.5% of Co-op’s electricity source.