Coldham solar farm in Cambridgeshire

Co-op has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to utilise the clean energy produced from ScottishPower Renewables’ Coldham solar farm in Cambridgeshire.

Under this agreement, Co-op will take 100 percent of the electricity produced from over 19,000 state-of-the-art solar panels at the 9MW site.

The consumer co-operative will source electricity for its estate, including food stores, distribution centres and Funeralcare homes right across the UK, over a 15-year period, to increase energy security and accelerate its path towards decarbonisation.

ScottishPower Renewables will be supplying Co-op with a peak capacity of 9MW of clean energy – which is enough to power the equivalent of around 55 Co-op food stores, equal to 2,000 homes.

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

Charlie Jordan, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables 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 Coldham solar farm has been developed as part of ScottishPower Renewables’ organic pipeline. It’s co-located with SPR’s existing Coldham windfarm and benefits from existing efficiencies with the site in terms of land, grid connections and other operating elements. 

Not only is Coldham solar farm helping Co-op to decarbonise, ScottishPower Renewables is hopeful the site will provide a wide range of resources for local wildlife to prosper having planted 7,500 native trees and a diverse mix of grassland plants.

The news of Coldham solar farm’s launch follows on from Co-op’s recent signing of a 15-year CPPA for the entire output of a 34-megawatt solar farm, located in North Yorkshire, which is set to be fully operational in 2025.