Cambridge Colleges prioritise procurement of local renewable energy
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SmartestEnergy, World Kinect Energy Services and Toucan Energy are working together to help connect all 33 of Cambridge Colleges, spanning 131 sites, to local solar farms, providing over 80% of their annual energy supply.

Under the three-year supply agreement with SmartestEnergy, the 33 Cambridge Colleges will be largely powered by two solar farms located within a 30-mile radius on SmartestEnergy’s ‘Renewable Specific’ product, certified by the Carbon Trust. The remaining volume will be sourced from solar generators across the UK.

The demand for a bespoke renewable supply arrangement was requested by both the management team and the student body in Cambridge Colleges.

Giles Greenfield (Darwin College), responsible for energy purchasing and Secretary of the inter-collegiate Environment Committee said: “Our students have been very vocal about wanting to attend a sustainably-minded university that procures and supports local renewable generators, 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.”

The two local generation sites that will make up 80% of the electricity supplied to Cambridge Colleges are Stowbridge and Abbey Solar Farms.

Based in Ely and Huntingdon respectively, they are owned by Toucan Energy and together generate a total capacity of 35MW.

Nathan Dad, Head of Industrial and Commercial Supply Sales at SmartestEnergy said:

“This is a really exciting contract for us and we’re delighted the Cambridge Colleges team found what they were looking for in our certified Renewable Specific product. We’ve worked closely with the Cambridge Colleges, along with their Energy Consultants, World Kinect Energy Services, to ensure the contract meets their bespoke requirements.

“Toucan Energy are a long-term generation customer of ours and given their location and their company mission to support local authorities and communities, they are a perfect match. All Cambridge Colleges can now confidently report zero carbon emissions to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, while also realising their goal of procuring renewable energy locally.”

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 the 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. SmartestEnergy stood out from the other seven suppliers as they offered the best deal.”

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