Beverage bottler Britvic, owner or licensee of drinks brands including Tango, Robinsons, 7Up & Lipton Tea, is to source 75% of its UK power needs with solar electricity, thanks to an innovative PPA (power purchase agreement) brokered by Squeaky, a leading dating app for commercial seekers & suppliers of clean energy.
The FTSE 250 soft drinks business is partnering with Atrato Onsite Energy to source clean electricity, including from the developer’s new 28MWp solar farm in Northamptonshire.
Squeaky, based in Wardour Street in London’s adland, introduced the parties. CEO Chris Bowden’s team claims to have been behind Europe’s first renewables PPA deal, signed as long ago as 2008.
Under this new 10-year deal, Atrato’s new solar farm on an old quarry site near Wellingborough will, once commissioned early next year, make power exclusively for Britvic.
Current output, for currant-based consumption
Rated at 28MWp, Wellingborough will have capacity to make 33.3 GWh of clean energy a year, the equivalent of powering 11,500 homes.
The juice that then flows – electrical, rather than culinary – will power Britvic’s UK plants, including factories in Beckton, East London and Leeds. These can output 2,000 recyclable bottles per minute, across a portfolio of leading brands.
Last year 57% of Britvic’s UK energy came from renewable sources, up from 28% in 2018.
Via its Healthier People, Healthier Planet programme, the beverage combine – group sales of £1.62 billion in 2022, with net profits of £140 million – says it is tackling its carbon footprint head on. Solar electricity, either made onsite or via exclusive PPAs, is one step in establishing a more sustainable supply chain.
Committed to Net Zero by 2050, Britvic says it leads the industry as the first UK soft drinks company to have a 1.5°C target verified by the Science Based Targets initiative. Since 2017 it has cut direct carbon emissions by 34%.
Britvic is investing £4 million in a heat recovery system at the East London site. A new Corporate Power Purchase Agreement in Ireland will ensure Ballygowan, the water brand, is produced using 100% renewable electricity harnessed from Irish wind turbines.
Atrato will supply Britvic with solar electricity on a “pay as you generate” basis. Uniquely though, power will be delivered on a baseload basis, consistent with the consumption needs of the drinks bottler.
“Careful, man, there’s a beverage here”
Other than its 10 year duration, no commercial terms were disclosed for the deal. Atrato said it has enabled a full financing of the Wellingborough park. Law firm Burges Salmon advised Atrato in relation to the deal.
In 19 months since its share float, Atrato has built a portfolio of 40 UK solar sites. Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Anglian Water, Nissan and Amazon feature among industrial clients seeking its low carbon electricity.
Britvic’s head of buying Matt Swindall commented: “This deal represents a significant milestone for Britvic as we continue to partner with home-grown renewable energy projects to power our business.
“The 10 year deal also establishes stability, enabling us to plan more efficiently over the coming years.
From Atrato, managing director Gurpreet Gujral responded: “We are thrilled to enter this new corporate PPA with Britvic. Our highly innovative PPA structure provides Britvic with a consistent source of renewable energy that matches their electricity needs. This project exemplifies our commitment to providing long term and attractively priced clean energy to our clients. Following an award-winning IPO, Atrato has become the ‘go to’ corporate clean energy provider.”
Chris Bowden, managing director of Squeaky Clean Energy said: “Having pioneered the use of corporate PPAs in the UK it has become abundantly clear that new and innovative contracting structures are needed. We are incredibly proud to have scored another first with this unique arrangement”.