Mobile telecoms giant Vodafone has reached agreement with Centrica and solar developer Mytilineos to fund five new PV farms, capable of providing it with 216 GWH of low-carbon power.
The trio’s PPA, their second struck in twelve months, will fund the Greek-based developer’s construction of five consented farms from Dorset to Nottinghamshire. Construction is due to be completed by early next year.
As offtaker, Centrica will sell a ‘significant’ proportion of their output to Vodafone, speeding the company towards its target of sourcing 44% of its power by 2025 from UK-based green sources. The remainder will be traded by the energy company.
Celebrating its customer’s underpinning of the new farms’ funding, Centrica chief executive Chris O’Shea, pictured, said: “The deal gives Vodafone UK access to clean, high quality and affordable renewable electricity for the next ten years, offering price certainty and improved energy security”.
Already in the UK 100% of the grid electricity which Vodafone uses is from certified renewable sources, the Centrica boss noted.
In May the trio signed a PPA by which Centrica would sell the phone company 109 GWh from three new solar farms in the Midlands, totalling 110 MWp in capacity. The first is now generating, with the rest soon to follow. Along with two onshore wind farms in Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, Vodafone UK now has dedicated access to renewable power from 10 sites across the UK.
The supply deal was announced as industry body SolarEnergyUK confirmed today that no longer subsidised instals of rooftop solar PV, overwhelmingly on homes and all under 50kWp in potential, doubled in 2022 on 2021’s figures.
Confirming figures from technical standards overseer the MCS, the solar lobbyists said over 130,000 roofs received new solar arrays last year, almost equalling completions for the previous two years combined.
Last month’s fixing of 16,043 new systems under 50kWp potential was three times the total for January 2022, setting a new monthly record for volumes of subsidy-free installations.
“Solar is surely one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK right now”, said the lobbyists’ CEO Chris Hewett. “The rapid increase in sales is great news for the economy, public pockets, Net Zero and of course for energy security too”,
But he warned that even the current pace of installation must double again for consumer-scale systems to match the government’s target set for all solar power in its Energy Security Strategy published in April.
Even that heightened target is “clearly achievable”, Hewett advised, since it would be less than levels achieved in 2011 and 2012, at the height of the Feed-in Tariff era.