Cambridge colleges support local solar PV plants

Company: The Consortium of Cambridge Colleges
Location: Cambridge, UK
Product: 100% Renewable Specific

As a result of a new 3 year contract which comes into effect on the 1st October 2021, all 33 Cambridge Colleges will be largely powered by two solar farms located within a 30-mile radius and the remaining volume will be sourced from solar generators across the UK.

This contract unites SmartestEnergy, World Kinect Energy Services and Toucan Energy with all 33 of the Cambridge Colleges, spanning 131 sites, in an exciting new chapter of electricity supply.

The opportunity:

The Consortium of Cambridge Colleges shared:

“Renewable sourcing was a major criterion for the latest re-tendering exercise so we actively sought a supply contract, working closely with our energy consultants at World Kinect Energy Services, that could fulfil ours and our students’ requirements and we are pleased that there was also the opportunity of linking supply to solar farms in our region

We are delighted that the electricity market operates in a way where our demand, along with that of other users with similar aims, has participated in stimulating the availability of sustainable supplies of electricity, and in that way helping to de-carbonise the electricity grid”

Terry Cogan, VP EMEA, World Kinect Energy Services, said:

“We are seeing an increase in sustainability goals driven by consumer pressure as more people become environmentally aware. Having worked with Cambridge Colleges since 2014 to provide their energy management solutions, we have a good understanding of their energy needs. We worked with them on a competitive bid in line with their carbon reduction commitments that fully addressed the requests of their students and placed local renewables as the primary focus.”

The result:

SmartestEnergy stood out amongst seven energy suppliers with their Renewable Specific Product, a bespoke product which allows customers to choose their preferred source of 100% renewable electricity by generation asset type and/or location.

Stowbridge and Abbey Solar Farms, which are based in Ely and Huntingdon and owned by Toucan Energy will be supplying Cambridge Colleges from 1st October 2021. Toucan Energy is one of SmartestEnergy’s long-term generation customers who are committed to providing local authorities and customers with REGO-backed solar energy. Together, these two solar farms generate a total capacity of 35MW and will supply Cambridge Colleges with 80% of their electricity supply.

Dan Skilton, Financial Controller at Toucan Energy said:

"We are delighted to supply Cambridge Colleges with certified, REGO-backed solar energy and are proud to be part of the university's journey to achieving their sustainability goals.”

The future:

The Cambridge Colleges electricity supply contract will start in October 2021 with an engagement program led by SmartestEnergy, which is already underway to help involve students in the colleges transition to net-zero.

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