Scottish soft drinks manufacturer AG Barr – producer of such brands as Irn-Bru and Rubicon – has signed a ten-year deal to power its UK operations with electricity from Vattenfall wind farms.
Vattenfall will, under a corporate power purchase agreement (PPA), supply renewable electricity to AG Barr’s facilities, including factories in Cumbernauld and Milton Keynes and regional sites in Bolton, Forfar, Newcastle, Sheffield, the West Midlands and Manchester.
The Swedish utility will supply AG Barr with 22GWh per year from its wind farms in the UK – the equivalent electricity to that used by 6,000 UK homes annually.
“We are seeing more and more companies looking to secure fossil free power for their business as they work towards net zero carbon emissions,” said Vattenfall UK’s country manager Danielle Lane.
Vattenfall has an ambition to supply 10TWh of renewable power to companies in the form of long-term PPAs by the end of 2023. It has already signed several such deals across its European market, including with Microsoft in the Netherlands and Norsk Hydro in Sweden.
The burgeoning corporate renewable PPA sector is emerging as a key driver of project growth, with developers using deals signed by blue chip corporations to get new wind and solar plants up and running.
A recent study by global law firm DLA Piper showed increased pressure on companies over their green credentials and a phase-out of government incentives has sent the number of renewable PPAs soaring more than tenfold in six years.
The report said a transition to subsidy-free projects led by Sweden, Norway and the UK is now being closely followed by promising deal flows in Spain and Italy. Countries such as Germany, Portugal and France are at an earlier phase of activity.
Drinks firms have recently been active in striking PPA deals in Europe, including brewing giant AB InBev which last month said its Budweiser beer will be all renewable in Europe after agreeing a ten-year virtual PPA with developer BayWa r.e. The German group is to build two PV plants in Spain to fulfil the contract.
Last year the German utility Innogy signed a PPA with the European business unit of Japanese beer-maker Asahi to supply renewable electricity to three of its breweries in Poland.