Arla has teamed up with energy firms Engie and Infinis to build two new solar parks under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which will provide approximately 20% of the energy required to operate Arla’s entire UK facility from renewable sources.
The new solar parks will be operational at facilities in Boston, Lincolnshire, and Offham, Kent, in 2024. Arla said that together, the sites are set to generate around 23,000 MWh of energy and create savings of approximately 4,439 tonnes of CO2 a year.
Both solar parks are being built on sites formerly utilised as landfill as part of an initiative aimed at generating more clean energy and making a positive impact on the environment.
Fran Ball, VP of production at Arla, said: “At Arla, we’re committed to working with our farmer-owners to provide natural, nutritious dairy, that is made in the best possible way, and are proud to be committing to two new solar parks to help power our UK operations. We are on a journey to climate net zero by 2050, which means that we are taking steps to reduce CO2e emissions on our farms, as well as focussing on other areas, including our production and logistics operations.
She added that the company will be switching to 100% renewable electricity across production sites by the end of 2025. In addition, 100% recyclable packaging will be used across Arla’s branded products by the end of 2025.
James Milne, chief commercial officer at Infinis, commented: “Partnerships like this help to protect higher grade agricultural land from development – supporting both food security and energy security – and we hope will pave the way for many more such projects”.
Arla has also recently completed the installation of roof-mounted solar panels on its Oswestry site. During peak power, these solar panels can generate 800KW, enabling the site to produce 12% of its annual electricity consumption and eliminate 137,920kg of carbon emissions.
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