The 5MW Haigh Hall solar farm (pictured) was connected to the grid in Q1 2017 by Athos Solar. Image: Athos Solar.

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is now sourcing all the power needed for its UK facilities from renewables, helped by a newly built solar farm.

The 5MW site was developed by Athos Solar and supplies its generated electricity to CCEP’s Wakefield facility under a long-term power purchase agreement.

Solar Power Portal understands CCEP has been connected to the Haigh Hall Solar Farm, connected by Athos in Q1 this year under the 1.2 ROC scheme.

The site has however had a difficult route to market. It was originally submitted in March 2013 by Oakapple Renewable Energy and sized at 7.2MW, however documents show that the plans were abandoned in 2014.

The plans were then revived by Emgen before being granted full planning permission by Leeds City Council in July 2016. The underground connection cable linking the solar farm with the CCEP site was approved by Wakefield City Council in October 2015.

Located roughly 1.5 miles away, the project is directly connected to the Wakefield soft drinks factory and is forecast to supply roughly 15% of its electricity demand.

The solar array was installed by German EPC Athos Solar on land owned by local businessman Stephen Butterfield. The site will continue to be used by livestock for grazing.

It builds on the energy generated by an existing CHP system installed in 2014 and a renewable tariff supplied by EDF which makes up any shortfall of electricity to guarantee the site’s 100% renewable status.

Nick Brown, head of sustainability at CCEP, said that the Wakefield solar farm was part of a long-term sustainability project.

“We’ve been collaborating with partners across GB to build our renewable energy credentials and have enjoyed working together with a number of local groups and businesses in Wakefield to support this.

“At CCEP we are committed to minimising the impact of our operations, with a core goal to reduce the carbon footprint of the drink in the consumers’ hand by a third in time for 2020. By guaranteeing that 100% of the electricity we use comes from renewable sources we’re taking a major step forward in achieving this,” he added.