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Vodafone signs 10-year deal for three new solar farms in UK

Vodafone has signed a 10-year agreement for power generated from three new solar farms in Lincolnshire, Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire, securing clean energy and supporting its ambition to achieve net zero UK operations by 2027.

Vodafone will purchase a significant proportion of the electricity output from the solar farms, securing their development and bringing additional renewable power provision to the UK grid. Energy generation is expected to begin by the end of 2022.

The deal, between Vodafone, Centrica as the power supplier, and MYTILINEOS’ Renewables & Storage Development Business Unit as the generator, supports the UK government’s ambition to focus on home-grown, clean and more affordable energy and so boost long-term energy independence and security.

Power Purchase Agreements are key to Vodafone’s renewable energy procurement strategy. This is the second such agreement, and follows the development of two onshore wind farms, in Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, which together supply 75 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity every year. Combined, these assets will provide more than 20% of Vodafone UK’s annual energy requirement and guarantee it access to long-term, high-quality renewable electricity supplies.

When fully operational, the solar farms are expected to supply more than 100 gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable electricity annually, enough to power a town of almost 30,000 households for a year and save around 25,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions, the equivalent of taking 14,860 cars a year off the road. Approximately 55GWh of green electricity will be dedicated to Vodafone UK, with the remainder being sold to balancing and merchant power markets through Centrica’s Energy Marketing & Trading business.

Powering the network
Vodafone’s fixed and mobile networks in the UK connect 16 million people at any one moment. Powering the network accounts for 95% of Vodafone’s total energy usage in the UK and represents the company’s biggest impact on the environment. In 2021, it announced that its mobile and fixed networks, data centres, retail stores and offices were now 100% powered by electricity from renewable sources.

Ahmed Essam, UK CEO, Vodafone, said: “Achieving our ambitious net zero targets is a critical part of our company strategy. Already, our entire business in the Uk and Europe is powered by 100% renewable electricity.

“Today’s announcement ensures a significant proportion of our energy requirement, for at least the next 10 years, is home-grown in the UK. I’m delighted Vodafone is helping to progress the development of new renewable power sites and supporting the delivery of more green energy to the UK grid.”

Cassim Mangerah, Managing Director of Centrica Energy Marketing and Trading, said: “Building on our longstanding customer relationship with Vodafone, this deal further underlines our reputation as a leading player in the European energy markets. Through helping companies like Vodafone deliver on their green procurement strategies, we’re pushing the green transition forward through supporting the development, management and optimisation of new renewable energy assets.”

Nikos Papapetrou, General Manager of the RSD Business Unit of MYTILINEOS, said: “We are excited about this transaction with Vodafone, as this is yet another important milestone in our development strategy in Europe. Corporate PPAs are a fundamental instrument as they help companies to decarbonise and reduce their carbon footprint. MYTILINEOS is proud to be in the forefront with Vodafone and Centrica.”

Vodafone UK has made significant progress on its net zero and environmental agenda in the last year including:

  • switching to 100% renewable electricity;
  • reducing CO2 emissions by 37%
  • trialling electric vehicle charging points and moving to a 60% EV or PHEV car fleet;
  • enabling customers to make more informed environmental choices with the launch of trade-in and refurbished handset offers, roll out
  • of the Eco Rating scheme and switching to SIM cards made from recycled plastic;
  • helping businesses save almost 500,000 tonnes of CO2e through IoT technology;
  • joining the UK Government’s Race to Zero and Tech Zero Taskforce.

CT Bureau

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