Northumbrian Water seals UK’s first offshore wind PPA deal with Ørsted

The Race Bank windfarm was commissioned last year and is capable of generating 573MW of renewable energy

The water firm has signed a 10-year PPA with Ørsted as an expansion of a renewable electricity supply agreement between the companies, which started in April 2018. The corporate PPA will deliver approximately 100GWh per year of renewable electricity from the Race Bank offshore windfarm, off the coast of Norfolk, amounting to 1TWh across the agreed term.

The deal commenced this month and Northumbrian Water will source 30% of its renewable electricity directly from the windfarm.

Northumbrian Water’s group commercial director, Graham Southall, said: “This PPA is not only a first of its kind in the UK; more importantly it aligns perfectly with our sustainability goals and our ambitions of creating a truly cohesive energy management strategy.

“The long-term stability this brings is fantastic for us, and great news for our customers and stakeholders, because it reduces operational costs without compromising our work.”

The new deal will also drive down Northumbrian Water’s operational costs after securing a fixed price for the electricity. As part of the agreement, Ørsted will use balancing services to ensure the wind-sourced electricity can be delivered to the water firm under an existing supply agreement.

The Race Bank windfarm was only commissioned last year. It is capable of generating 573MW from 91 turbines.

Long-term partnership

Northumbrian Water originally signed a contract with the Danish energy firm in April 2018 to cover all 1,858 of its sites.

Northumbrian Water continues to place itself at the leading-edge for sustainability and energy-related technology.  The firm has plans to install battery storage systems made using end-of-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries at several of its water treatment works

Ørsted’s head of corporate PPA’s Alana Kühne said: “Northumbrian Water shares our ambitions towards a greener future and are able to benefit from this journey through signing a Corporate PPA from Race Bank. For Ørsted, this agreement is an important step towards building long-term green partnerships with corporate power customers.”

Last year, a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) found that corporates have actively sourced renewable energy equivalent to the overall demand of France, with more than 2,400 companies across 75 nations sourcing 465TWh of renewable energy in 2017.

Matt Mace

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