Local MP visits solar farm powering Europe's largest soft drinks factory

Posted On: 
13th September 2017

Brand new solar farm opened in Leeds this year to support the production of Coca-Cola.

Andrea Jenkyns MP and Trevor Newman, Operations Director at Coca-Cola European Partners, Wakefield

This week, Andrea Jenkyns, MP for Morley and Outwood, officially opened a new solar farm in Leeds, helping to power the production of Coca-Cola European Partners’ (CCEP) famous brands including Coca-Cola Classic, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta and Schweppes.

To mark the occasion, Andrea Jenkyns was taken on a tour of the eight-hectare solar farm, located 1.5 miles from the business’ Wakefield factory. Other guests included solar photovoltaic (PV) specialists, Athos Solar, who installed the panels in collaboration with local landowner and businessman, Stephen Butterfield, and members of Grupo Zaragozá, who oversaw the engineering, procurement and construction of the solar farm.

Before visiting the farm, guests heard from Operations Director at CCEP, Trevor Newman and Tomasz Parzyk, Environmental Manager at CCEP, on how the new project will support the local factory. The farm is set to deliver 15%* of the site’s total electricity use as part of a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), and since becoming fully operational over the Spring, has already generated over 500MWh per month.

The group also heard about the sustainability benefits of the project, which helps to reduce the factory’s operational carbon footprint by 8.6% - with approximately 900 cans and 330 PET bottles produced using renewable electricity every minute. The site will also maintain dual-use as grazing land for the sheep that live on the fields.

Trevor Newman, Operations Director at Coca-Cola European Partners, Wakefield, said: “We’re proud to be a local company making one of the most recognisable brands in the world in a sustainable way right here in Wakefield. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to share our story with local MP Andrea Jenkyns and to show her and the other guests the solar farm. We look forward to seeing how this project develops over the coming months and years, while continuing our commitment to use 100% electricity from renewable sources here in Great Britain.”

Andrea Jenkyns, MP for Morley and Outwood, said “It was a real pleasure to visit the solar farm and hear from the teams involved in such an important and valuable project that is located so close to home. It has never been more important for businesses to operate responsibly and think about the role they play both within the communities they operate and also the wider society. I commend Coca-Cola European Partners on taking a strong leadership position and embracing sustainable energy in this way, working with local groups and businesses to achieve this. I look forward to following the progress of the solar farm in the future and hope that it will inspire more businesses to taking such leadership in key issues for our society.”