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Cero Generation’s Italian agrivoltaic project goes live

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Cero Generation has announced that Pontinia, its 70 MW solar agrivoltaic project in Italy, is now live. The project is the first in Italy to have 10-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) in place with a multinational consortium, made up of global brewing company, HEINEKEN, and global health technology company, Philips.

Located in the Province of Latina in the Lazio region of Italy, Pontinia will gen-erate enough renewable electricity to allow HEINEKEN and Philips to together power the equivalent of over 47 000 homes and avoid around 40 000 tpy of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Pontinia is also amongst the first in Italy to combine solar power generation with farming (agrivoltaics). Approximately 65% of the 135 ha. that the project sits on will be used for agricultural crops. Cero is collaborating with a social farm, Fattoria Soli-dale del Circeo, to carry out the farming activities, which will provide work placements for vulnerable or socially excluded people.?

As one of the largest solar projects in Italy and with an innovative financing approach, Pontinia is at the forefront of the shift to subsidy-free solar PV projects in the country. Today’s announcement forms part of the growing solar PV capacity Cero has under development in Italy, supporting the country’s goals to cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2030. Cero’s 25 GW portfolio across 370 utility scale projects is one of the largest in Europe.

Marta Martinez Queimadelos, CEO of Cero Generation, said: “We’re delighted to see our Pontinia project enter operation and start to produce cleaner, cheaper, and more secure energy for the Province of Latina in the Lazio region. The virtual PPAs with HEINEKEN and Philips and the project’s clever integration with agricultural crops embodies the scale of innovation needed to combat the climate crisis.”?

Marco Faes, Director Regional Corporate Affairs Europe at HEINEKEN, added: “As part of our ambition to Brew a Better World, we are accelerating the transition to decarbonise our breweries. Together with our colleagues in Global Procurement, we have made great progress in adopting renewable energy. The Pontinia initiative in Italy moves us one step closer to reaching 100% renewable electricity in Eu-rope within a year. We’re happy to be partnering on this PPA and we remain focused on our net-zero journey ahead.”

Robert Metzke, Global Head of Sustainability at Philips, commented: “There is a growing drive in the healthcare sector to limit our impact on the environment. We are committed to decreasing emissions across the entire healthcare value chain and lowering the industry’s substantial carbon footprint through innovative solutions and collaborations, while advancing towards a circular economy. The Pontinia initiative will expand our network of facilities that allow us to procure renewable energy for both our customers and our own operations.”

Philips has been carbon neutral in its operations since 2020. It recently became the first health technology company to have CO2 emission reduction targets for its entire value-chain approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. The company is actively teaming up with suppliers and customers to help reduce the healthcare industry’s significant carbon footprint. This new PPA agreement will support Philips in helping hospitals control their emissions and reset their carbon footprint.?

Schneider Electric, a leading global advisor on corporate renewable energy procurement, supported Philips and HEINEKEN in project selection and contract negotiations.?

John Powers, Vice President, Global Cleantech and Renewables at Schneider Electric, concluded: “This innovative collaboration represents a significant milestone in the evolution of sustainable energy production. We at Schneider Electric are proud to be a part of the collective efforts to scale adoption of clean energy solutions and continue forward progress on net-zero goals in Europe.”



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