The development, located at Ibstock Brick’s Leicestershire headquarters, adds further weight to the company’s status as one of the UK’s most sustainable brickworks and is the first brick factory in the UK to be part-powered by a large-scale solar farm.
The partnership with Lightsource BP 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% of the site’s annual electricity demand. Fully-funded by Lightsource BP, 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.
Zosia Riesner, Head of Corporate PPA, said: “Our solar farms provide our customers with a reliable source of renewable energy whilst reducing their carbon footprint and electricity bills. 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.”
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.
Continuous Improvement and Sustainability Director, Mark Brind, from Ibstock said, “As a company, and across Ibstock plc, we recognise the importance of being a sustainable business. This agreement with Lightsource BP forms part of our multi-dimensional approach in our drive to reach our sustainability targets. What made it 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.”