Coca-Cola expand solar farm to supply canning plant


Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) will support the expansion of a solar farm in Wakefield to support its canning plant.

It will increase from five to 8.1 megawatts, meaning it will now deliver almost 20% of the site’s total electricity.

The move follows a £27 million investment in a state-of-the-art canning line at the plant last year, supporting the production of sustainable packaging for the likes of Coca-Cola Classic, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta and Schweppes.

It produces 2,000 330ml cans per minute and is described as underpinning Coca-Cola European Partners’ long-term commitment to the site.

The investment in the solar farm is one of the first major projects launched since the announcement of CCEP’s £217m programme to support its target to be net zero by 2040, launched last year.

The solar farm expansion has been developed in collaboration with local landowner, Stephen Butterfield, and is managed by solar PV specialists Innova Energy.

Vanessa Smith, director, supply chain operations, 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.

“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.”

Denis Sorkin, investment director, Innova, said: “We are very proud of this partnership with Coca-Cola European Partners and the local landowner to build and operate a large-scale solar plant, which supplies a significant proportion of energy requirements for the CCEP Wakefield bottling facility.

“This is a fantastic example of CCEP supporting both the UK climate change strategy and technological innovation, whilst engaging with the local community and stakeholders.”

Andrea Jenkyns, MP for Morley and Outwood, added: “Now, more than ever, it’s important for businesses to lead the way when it comes to implementing positive change at a corporate and local level.

“In today’s climate, firms have a huge responsibility in enabling a green recovery, so I’m pleased to see Coca-Cola continuing to work in collaboration with local stakeholders here in Wakefield to reduce carbon emissions locally.”

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