German utility Innogy has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the European business unit of Japanese beer-maker Asahi to supply renewable electricity to three of its breweries in Poland.

Under the 10-year PPA, the Tyskie Browary Ksiazece, Dojlidy and Lech Browary Wielkopolski breweries, acquired when Asahi bought Poznań-based Kompania Piwowarskal in 2017, will be supplied by the 73MW Nowy Staw wind farm, near Gdansk.

Paolo Lanzarotti, chief executive at Asahi Breweries Europe, stated that “as soon as in 2021 we will be brewing a third of our volume in Central Europe with 100% renewable electricity. This is equivalent to 3 billion beer bottles every year”.

From next year, Nowy Staw will supply 30GWh annually to Kompania Piwowarska, covering about 40% of its breweries’ electricity demand. This will be stepped up to 100% supply in 2021 following Innogy’s planned 11MW expansion to the existing wind farm, which will then flow 80GWh a year to the breweries.

Holger Himmel, chief financial officer at Innogy SE, said: “[This deal] allows Asahi to run their production business in Poland in a climate-friendly manner by significantly cutting carbon emissions.

“It also enables us to expand our wind farm based on a PPA, meaning that no state subsidies will be involved.”

Lanzarotti added: “This deal is a significant commitment that not only helps us come closer to the Asahi Group ambition of becoming carbon neutral across the whole supply chain by 2050, but also lays the ground for Innogy to invest in a new onshore construction project that will support Poland’s transition towards renewable energy.”

German wind developer VSB last year entered into a long-term PPA with automaker Mercedes-Benz to supply wind-generated electricity from the 45.1MW Taczalin wind farm to a new engine plant in the Polish town of Jawor.

Europe has lagged behind the US where corporate renewables PPA deals with technology giants such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft have become increasingly common.

The corporate energy transition body RE100, run by the Climate Group with global environmental impact assessment group CDP said globally more than 200 companies have committed to source 100% of their electricity from renewables in the short to medium-term.

To date, corporate renewable energy PPAs have been inked for more than 6GW of new power sourcing in Europe, with almost a third of this capacity having been contracted in 2018.