Lightsource BP has confirmed it is to begin construction of a 4.9 MWp solar installation for leading brick manufacturer, Ibstock Brick, at the firm’s Leicestershire headquarters.
The development is the first brick factory in the UK to be part-powered by a large-scale solar farm and is the result of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) which will see renewable electricity ‘hard-wired’ into Ibstock Brick’s private electricity network, providing 30 percent of the site’s annual electricity demand. Ibstock Brick will purchase the electricity generated from the installation via a 25-year agreement at a fixed rate, delivering operational savings as well as sustainable benefits. Lightsource BP will operate the site over the full life-cycle of the project.
The collaboration has resulted in the two businesses forging a strong relationship and both parties will continue to work together to potentially develop solar solutions across Ibstock Brick’s other manufacturing plants across the UK.
“Our solar farms provide our customers with a reliable source of renewable energy whilst reducing their carbon footprint and electricity bills” said Zosia Riesner, Head of Corporate PPA. “In our mission to drive the global energy transition landscape, our PPAs provide a risk-free, tailored solution that allows business to buy renewable energy competitively. As experts in the development, financing and operation of solar farms, we are the ideal business partner.”
Continuous Improvement and Sustainability Director, Mark Brind, from Ibstock added that the company recognises the the importance of being a sustainable business and that the agreement with Lightsource BP forms part of its multi-dimensional approach in our drive to reach its sustainability targets. What made the agreement particularly attractive was the biodiversity enhancement plan supporting the construction and the fact that the land could be used for both solar and agricultural use.
The PPA follows Ibstock Brick’s commitment to implement more resource-efficient methods in its manufacturing process by making use of renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint and reliance on the national grid.