Telecommunications giant Vodafone UK has signed a second corporate solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with Mytilineos and Centrica.
The deal covers generation from five sites with a total capacity of 232MW, located in Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Buckinghamshire and Dorset. In total, the sites are expected to generate 216GWh of electricity once operational.
Greece-headquartered Mytilineos is developing the sites, which are all currently under construction and have Commercial Operation Dates expected in stages across 2023 and Q1 2024.
The PPA follows the three companies signing a similar agreement in May 2022 for the output of three solar farms in the UK. These sites – located in Lincolnshire, Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire – have a capacity of 110MW and were completed at the end of 2022.
By 2025, around 44% of Vodafone’s annual energy requirement will come from UK-based renewable power sources thanks in part to this newest PPA.
Already 100% of its grid electricity usage is from certified renewable sources, as well as the company moving to a 73% electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid car fleet, switching on the UK’s first ‘self-powering’ mobile phone mast that uses a wind turbine, solar panels and on-site battery storage, and cutting Scope One and Two emissions by 55%.
“The energy crisis has highlighted we must work together – as governments, businesses and society – to change how we produce and consume energy. Today’s announcement ensures a significant proportion of our energy requirement, for at least the next 10 years, is home-grown in the UK,” said Ahmed Essam, UK CEO, Vodafone.
“I’m pleased Vodafone is helping to progress the development of new renewable power sites and supporting the delivery of green energy to the UK grid. Importantly, this also gives Vodafone UK improved energy security and price certainty and will help us achieve net zero for our UK operations by 2027.”
Mytilineos is the generator, Centrica the power supplier and Vodafone the off-taker within the PPA. Once the assets are operational, 50% of the total electrical output – 108GWh – will be delivered through a sleeving arrangement.
“Power purchase agreements such as this are going to be essential to the growth of renewable energy in the UK and Europe, helping secure guaranteed returns for developers, and encouraging growth in the sector,” said Chris O’Shea, chief executive officer of Centrica.
“They are also key for helping large companies like Vodafone decarbonise its operations. We’re delighted to build on our longstanding relationship with Vodafone and support its net zero journey.”
Mytilineos currently has a portfolio of 268MW of solar and storage in the UK, and is planning to add a further 400MW during 2023.
Its international portfolio consists of 9.1GW of projects at various stages of development, including; 539MW in operation, c.1GW under construction, c.2.2GW in mature stages of development and >5 GW in less mature stage of development.
This includes a 14MW solar portfolio in the Republic Ireland the Greek conglomerate acquired from Elgin Energy in July 2021.
“We are excited about this second transaction with Vodafone, as this demonstrates our capability to support renewable energy and energy independency in the UK,” said Yiannis Kalafatas, chief executive director of Mytilineos’ Energy Sector.
“We are also proud of being able to achieve such a milestone - both as a developer and a generator – by signing the biggest solar corporate PPA deal in the UK to date.”