Voltalia’s South Farm Solar Park. Image: Voltalia.

Co-op has signed a 15-year Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Voltalia for the entire output of the 34MW Eastgate solar farm.

Eastgate solar farm will help power the consumer co-operative’s estate which includes food stores, distribution centres and Funeralcare homes across the UK.

Early construction of the 62,500 solar panel farm located near Scarborough in North Yorkshire has already begun, and the asset is expected to begin operations in 2025.

Once fully operational the solar farm’s maximum capacity is expected to provide enough electricity to supply up to 7.5% of Co-op’s total electricity needs per year.

“The signing of this Corporate PPA is a significant milestone demonstrating Co-op’s goal to green the energy grid and create transparency in the renewable energy market. Not only will this agreement unlock more green energy, it will also enable energy security, drive economic growth and move us closer to net zero,” said  Shirine Khoury-Haq, Group CEO at the Co-op.

Khoury-Haq also noted the importance of such Corporate PPA’s noting, that the UK is too reliant on fossil fuels:

“We still believe that grid decarbonisation should be an absolute priority for the Government. Whilst businesses have a part to play, reform to allow much more rapid progress for projects such as the Eastgate solar project is urgently needed,” Khoury-Haq added.

“Whilst the significant progress the United Kingdom has made to date is to be applauded, as a country we remain too reliant on fossil fuels, and ambitious targets alone won’t deliver the benefits that a Net Zero grid will deliver, from energy security to lower generation costs to the better outcome for the planet that’s so desperately needed.”