Lightsource has begun supplying solar energy to Ming Foods through a 25 year power purchase agreement which stands to save the Chinese pastry specialist more than £20,000 from its annual energy costs.

The 178kWp system has been installed on the roof of Ming Food’s factory in Swanley, Kent and is expected to provide 20% of the facility’s total electricity needs. It will also generate annual carbon emissions savings of around 82 tonnes.

Sam Duong, chief executive of Ming Foods, said: “Through our partnership with Lightsource, we are able to source 20% of our total power demand from solar energy, which in turn reduces the carbon in our supply chain and creates significant cost savings that we can then re-invest in the core business, and delivering for customers.”

“The PPA process couldn’t have been simpler, and we have valued Lightsource’s expertise in creating such sustainable solution to our energy requirements,” he added.

PPA’s have emerged as a key area of activity within the UK solar market, particularly since the downturn prompted by cuts to government support via the feed-in tariff. Lightsource has completed numerous projects like the Ming Foods installation, including a 250kW solar array for Northumbrian Water and a 4.84MW solar farm tied into Belfast International Airport.

Nick Boyle, chief executive of Lightsource, said: “We understand that all business decisions, even those regarding sustainability, must make sound financial sense. Lightsource helps businesses of all sizes, to reduce costs today and ensure long-term cost reductions into the future, while also reducing their carbon footprint.

“We are delighted to be working with Ming Foods and be a part of its next chapter of growth.”

For more on the potential for PPA’s in the UK, click here to find out what Nick Boyle had to say when interviewed by Solar Power Portal earlier this year.