Electricity is being provided by EDF Energy, which has been certified renewable by regulator Ofgem’s Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin scheme.
The new solar farm will generate 15% of the electricity used by the CCEP’s Wakefield factory, said to be the largest soft drinks plant in Europe.
Located 1.5 miles from the Wakefield factory, the 8ha solar farm – the size of 12 football pitches – will produce up to 5MW of energy and will lower the site’s operational carbon footprint by 6.8%.
Latest commitment to renewable energy
CCEP Wakefield’s latest commitment to renewable energy follows the launch of a £1M combined heat and power system in 2014. The initiative was claimed to have saved 1,500t of carbon dioxide emissions a year across the factory – a 5.6% reduction.
The company predicted it would save 3,800t of carbon dioxide a year thanks to the new solar farm and its existing energy saving systems.
Head of sustainability at CCEP Nick Brown said:“The Wakefield solar farm is a long-term sustainability project for CCEP, capable of producing up to 5MW of energy at full capacity.
“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.”
The solar panels have been installed by solar power specialist Athos Solar, on fields belonging to local landowner and businessman Stephen Butterfield. The site will also maintain dual-use as grazing land for stock such as sheep.
‘Support local manufacturing’
Butterfield said: “It’s fantastic to be utilising my land to support local manufacturing – and in a way that helps to protect our environment.
“I look forward to working closely with [CCEP] and Athos Solar on this project over the coming years and I am thankful for the support of our local government members.”
Last year saw Mars and Nestlé announce renewable energy schemes – both powered by wind turbines.
Sustainably-sourced ingredients will be the subject of the Food Manufacture Group’s latest free-to-attend webinar, taking place at 3pm on Thursday June 15.
The webinar – Sustainable snacking trends for 2017 – will feature presentations on the effective use of water from Almond Board of California and the latest snacking trends from Innova Market Insights.
The European Snacks Association will chart consumers' increasing interest in ethically and sustainably-sourced snack ingredients.