AB Inbev, Baywa Ink Biggest Ever European Corporate Solar Deal

AB Inbev, Baywa Ink Biggest Ever European Corporate Solar Deal

Belgian beer giant AB InBev has entered into solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with BayWa r.e., global renewable energy developer, for its European brewing operations.

AB Inbev, Baywa Ink Biggest Ever European Corporate Solar Deal

The move came as the beer giant wants to power its European operations with 100 percent renewable electricity.

As per the 10-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA), Munich based Baywa will supply power from its two solar farms with a combined power output of almost 200 MW, of which AB InBev will be supplied with more than 130 MW.

The collaboration makes it the largest pan-European corporate solar power deal in history, covering the Belgian company’s 14 breweries in Western Europe and more than 50 brands brewed and sold across 12 countries, including global brand Budweiser. Getting a large, ‘traditional’ sector on board is also a good marker of the changes happening in industrialised nations. So far, the headlines had usually been reserved for large tech majors opting for renewable energy.  As more and more firms follows AB Inbev’s lead, the renewable sector is likely to get a strong impetus in these markets, independent of government policy.

BayWa is planning to fund and develop 2 new solar energy sites in Spain, one of which will be called the Budweiser solar farm. This solar energy farm will provide 250 GW hours of renewable electricity every year for beer giant’s breweries.

During the PPA tenure, the power produced will be enough to power the equivalent of almost 670,000 European homes, or 100,000 stadium football matches.

BayWa is expected to commission the new solar plant by March 1, 2022, and till then it will supply AB InBev with 75 GW hours of Guarantees of Origin from its wind farm in Spain.

Commenting on the deal, Jason Warner, Zone President for Europe at AB InBev, said “as a brewer, we rely on natural ingredients – water, hops, barley and yeast – to make our beers, so we know that sustainability is not just part of our business, it is our business. From recycling CO2 released in the brewing process to eliminating plastic from our packaging, we are constantly looking to not only reduce our environmental impact but to have a net positive effect.”

Warner further added that “this is why we are hugely excited today to announce this partnership with BayWa r.e. to build the Budweiser solar farm, add new European solar capacity and brew our beers across Western Europe with renewable electricity. As we welcome the new European green deal, we now ask our consumers, customers, colleagues, business partners and fellow companies to join us in shifting towards renewable power – we are making our 100 percent renewable electricity symbol available for any brands that are produced with renewables. This symbol is about driving positive change in what people buy in their weekly shop, order at the bar or drink with friends.”

The move should also provide reason to pause and reflect for many firms who have committed to shift to a zero carbon status by as late as 2040, even as activists push for a far earlier deadline of 2030.

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Manu Tayal

Manu is an Associate Editor at Saur Energy International where she writes and edits clean & green energy news, featured articles and interview industry veterans with a special focus on solar, wind and financial segments.