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Statkraft, UK universities sign unique, £50 million renewables PPA

Wind turbines in Wales. Courtesy of Statkraft

Image: Statkraft

In a UK first, twenty universities have signed an aggregated corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) that will enable them to source their power from a portfolio of windfarms.

Arranged by supply platform Squeaky Clean Energy in partnership with not-for-profit public buying organization The Energy Consortium, the deal allows the universities to purchase renewable power from Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy. It will run over the next ten years at a fixed power price, minimising the exposure to market volatility, with an estimated value of £50 million.

The move will enable the universities, which includes Newcastle, Exeter and Aberystwyth, to cut carbon and reduce their energy bills. This is particularly important currently, as the UK’s government’s goal to build a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 requires all estates, including universities, to eliminate or completely offset their CO2 emissions.

“The combined challenge facing the Higher Education and wider public sector is to secure reduced carbon emissions whilst saving money and I am delighted that these universities have secured both through this ground breaking deal,” said Richard Murphy, Managing Director, TEC

The PPA has come after changes to the process, which previously excluded universities and the like due to their great cost and complexity. But the establishment of standardised and simplified documentation has allowed the agreements to be cut from 120 pages plus, to just 15.

Murphy said: “The corporate PPA market has long been touted as a means for larger organisations to procure renewable power and enable subsidy-free development. But to date, it has largely been the preserve of very large companies, requiring substantial commitments from buyers. By acting together in a collaborative approach facilitated by the energy expertise here at TEC, these institutions, whether large or small, have been able to navigate a previously inaccessible market.”

Its hoped that this first of a kind PPA, will be the first of many as the new standardised system opens energy market to SMEs and public sector bodies

“Having pioneered the first Corporate PPA (CPPA) in Europe back in 2008 for Sainsbury it’s been an ambition of myself and team at Squeaky to democratise the CPPA market,” said Chris Bowden, MD of Squeaky. “After several years of development we’ve achieved another first by simplifying, standardizing and shrinking the CPPA enabling smaller organisations to access the market for the first time.”

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