International green building contractor Multiplex today pledged itself to the building of a new 15 MWp UK solar farm, as part of its plan to power all its UK and European sites with renewable energy.
The new solar plant, scheduled to start generating in early 2023, will supply a contracted 10 GWh per year to the builder’s European operations.
A spokesperson for the construction firm confirmed developers are currently addressing feedback arising from the first stage of the farm’s planning application. A further announcement may follow early in 2022.
Citing commercial confidentiality, both Multiplex and owners Brookfield Asset Management declined to disclose the planned farm’s location or its generating partner. Construction may take as little as six months.
Having its own dedicated source of green electricity bought at a fixed price under a power purchase agreement (PPA) will reduce the cost risks from fluctuating energy prices, Multiplex believes. Its announcement today comes on Built Environment Day at the CoP26 climate talks.
Multiplex’s recent projects include London’s first Net Zero building at 80 Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, redeveloping the capital’s Elephant and Castle district, and erecting 22 Bishopsgate, the City’s tallest tower.
A building firm powered internationally by a PPA is thought to be a first in the construction industry. In April Multiplex embraced a “One Decade to Act” initiative, its pathway to Net Zero carbon emissions.
Today’s announcement follows the UK Green Building Council’s guidance on renewable energy procurement & carbon offsetting. Multiplex see their solar PPA as setting a precedent for British contractors working towards Net Zero.
In a video accompanying today’s announcement, Tushant Suri, the contractor’s head of sustainable design and energy, explains that the goals of Multiplex’s “One Decade to Act” plan include achieving zero on-site carbon emissions by 2025 and halving the embodied carbon intensity of the firm’s operations by 2030.
Multiplex’s strategy director Ben Keenan added: “We recognise that ….businesses should be investing in the right technologies aligned with climate science in order to create meaningful change.
“We are committed to creating a positive impact on the environment, people and communities. This is a step in the right direction in terms of reducing our scope 2 emissions and supporting the decarbonisation of the National Grid.”