NextEnergy is targeting corporate PPAs as a key part of its strategy to grow its portfolio. Image: NextEnergy Capital.

NextEnergy Group has signed a corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) with global law firm DLA Piper for a 13MW solar asset.

Electricity from the solar site, which is to be built and operated in Somerset, England, will ‘virtually’ power 15 of DLA Piper’s European and UK offices.

“The corporate PPA market continues to strengthen,” said Ross Grier, UK managing director of NextEnergy Capital.

“Corporate PPAs will form an important component of the way companies seek to decarbonise over the next decade and it’s a pleasure being at the forefront of this with DLA Piper in the legal sector.”

The agreement follows NextEnergy’s Solar Fund stating it will continue to focus on long-term corporate PPAs within its interim results last year. As part of this it pointed to the success of its Camden portfolio, which includes the 50MW South Lowfield and the 50MW The Grange solar sites. The portfolio has a 15-year PPA in place covering c.75% of the electricity generation, with the counterparty being brewer AB InBev.

DLA Piper welcomed the PPA, which will help the company to reach its target of halving its greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms by 2030.

Natasha Luther-Jones, DLA Piper’s international head of sustainability and ESG and global co-chair energy and natural resources, said: “DLA Piper’s collaboration with this to be built solar farm is yet another illustration of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint through innovative solutions. We are the first law firm to enter into a corporate PPA so this project is a true statement of our ambition to be one of the most impactful business law firms for sustainability.”   

In addition to pursuing PPAs, investment manager NextEnergy Capital launched a £500 million subsidy-free solar fund in December, with up to £250 million to come from the UK Infrastructure Bank. And in January, NextEnergy Solar Fund expanded into the Spanish market for the first time with a co-investment transaction for a 25% stake in a 50MW project under construction in Cádiz.