04 May 2021

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is investing in the expansion of the solar farm that provides power to its Wakefield plant.

The company will support the expansion of the farm from five to 8.1 megawatts, meaning it will now provide almost 20 per cent of the site's total electricity.

It is one of the first major projects launched since the announcement last year of CCEP's €250m investment programme to support its science based targets to be net zero by 2040.

The expanded solar farm will also help with the long-term restoration of low quality agricultural land on the site of a former open cast mine, which cannot otherwise be developed as it forms an important part of local flood defences. It will include wildlife corridors to safeguard and encourage site biodiversity.

The solar farm expansion has been developed in collaboration with landowner Stephen Butterfield, and is managed by solar PV specialist Innova Energy, which acquired the facility last year.

CCEP invested £27m in its Wakefield facility in 2020 to support a new state-of-the art canning line, elevating the site's production capabilities and supporting the production of sustainable packaging for brands including Coca-Cola Classic, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta and Schweppes.

Vanessa Smith, director, supply chain operations at CCEP, said: "These investments are the latest milestone in our sustainability journey at our site in Wakefield and will significantly contribute towards achieving our target of reaching net zero by 2040. We know it's important to implement initiatives like this at every level of the supply chain and increasing the local generation of renewable electricity will take us further towards our longer term decarbonisation goals.

"While the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted all businesses to assess the way we do things, our ambition to function as sustainably as we possibly can is more heightened than ever. We're pleased to be helping in enabling a green recovery locally, and to have been able to work so closely with Mr Butterfield to identify how we can meet a local need."

Source: Coca-Cola European Partners invests in solar farm expansion | Insider Media