New solar park project set to cover about a third of Arla Foods’ electricity consumption in Denmark
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- 31 January 2022
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Arla Foods announces ambitious collaboration with the renewable energy company Better Energy regarding four new solar parks that will cover approximately one third of Arla's electricity consumption in Denmark by 2024. It is the most extensive agreement on renewable electricity from a Danish company without public subsidies in Danish history and one of several initiatives to help Arla Foods meet its new 2030 emissions reduction target for its internal value chains, which is double the previous target.
Arla Foods recently announced a new 2030 climate target. The dairy cooperative is increasing its target for reducing emissions in operations and logistics from 30 to 63 per cent. The new target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as being consistent with the reductions required to keep global warming to 1.5°C.
Today, Arla Foods is ready to announce yet another initiative to reduce emissions from its internal value chains. Arla has signed an agreement with Better Energy for the establishment of four new solar parks.
Under a 10-year agreement, the dairy cooperative commits to purchase the majority of the electricity from the new solar parks. This constitutes the largest supply agreement in Danish history on renewable energy without any public funding involved.
The parks have an expected capacity of 250 GWh, corresponding to the annual energy consumption of 156,000 average Danish citizens, and enough to cover about one third of Arla Foods’ electricity consumption in Denmark.
“We are proud to be one of the first farmer-owned dairy cooperatives in the world to have a 1.5°C target approved by SBTi, and the new solar parks will play an important role in our shift towards renewable electricity and low-energy solutions at Arla Foods,” says Hanne Søndergaard, Executive Vice President at Arla Foods
“Our Danish sites form a major part of our operations, which is why we are very pleased to begin our transition towards green electricity in Denmark.”
100 per cent green electricity in Europe
By the end of 2025, Arla Foods’ electricity consumption in EU will come from renewable energy sources, with the majority through green power purchase agreements and investments in solar and wind projects. With this new collaboration, Arla is taking a major step towards self-sufficiency in green electricity.
“Arla and our farmer owners continuously invest in new initiatives all the way from cow to grocery store with the aim of reducing our emissions and energy consumption. These initiatives include climate checks on the farms, reduction of food waste, sustainable packaging and green energy sources,” says Hanne Søndergaard.
As a significant part of Arla Foods’ dairy sites and logistics emissions is directly linked to electricity consumption from dairy sites and logistics, the dairy cooperative continues to implement solutions in this area, says Hanne Søndergaard:
“Our nearly 300 organic farmers and our biggest dairy sites in Denmark already run entirely on green electricity. The agreement with Better Energy is an important step in the right direction, and a way for Arla to contribute to the overall increase in Denmark’s green energy production.”
The solar parks will provide green electricity in early 2024
The first solar park is expected to start delivering electricity by early 2023, and all four parks are scheduled to supply electricity by early 2024. Better Energy is responsible for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the solar parks, which take up a total of 280 hectares of land.
”We are pleased that Arla has chosen to purchase green electricity that has a real impact on the transition towards green electricity in Denmark. With their extensive production in Denmark, it is the right choice for Arla to use sustainable and fossil-free electricity produced in Denmark. We have seen a minor revolution within solar power in recent years, and we consider this to be a smart choice for Arla to incorporate solar power into their value chain,” says Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær, CEO of Better Energy.
The four solar parks will be located in Denmark. The first park will be built in Ebberup in Assens Municipality. The location of the remaining three parks still awaits final approval.
Key facts about the solar parks
- The dairy cooperative Arla and Better Energy have entered a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement under which Arla commits to purchase the majority of the electricity from four new solar parks.
- The solar parks have an expected capacity of 250 GWh, corresponding to the average annual energy consumption of 156,000 Danes.
- It is the largest power purchase agreement ever of renewable energy from a Danish company with no public funding involved.
- By the end of 2025, Arla Foods’ electricity consumption in EU will come from renewable energy sources, with the majority through green power purchase agreements and investments in solar and wind projects. This will be complemented by purchased guarantees of origin for electricity produced on Arla farms and in the market.
- The agreement is a major step for Arla towards achieving its target of having an electricity consumption in Europe that is entirely reliant on renewable energy sources by the end of 2025.
- Arla Foods’ nearly 300 organic farmers and biggest dairy sites in Denmark already run entirely on green electricity.
- Arla has raised its ambitions to meet the 1.5°C commitment by increasing the scope 1 and 2 target to 63 per cent. This plan has been validated against SBTi Criteria V4.2 and approved by SBTi in December 2021.
- The four new solar parks will take up 280 hectares of land and located on four different sites in Denmark. The first one will be built in Ebberup in Assens Municipality. The location of the remaining three parks still awaits final approval.
Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by more than 8,900 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Arla Foods is one of the leading players in the international dairy arena with well-known brands like Arla®, Lurpak®, Puck® and Castello®. Arla Foods is focused on providing good dairy nourishment from sustainable farming and operations and is also the world's largest manufacturer of organic dairy products.