Mercedes-Benz has signed the first corporate renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) in Poland.
The deal means the car maker will buy the output from a 45 MW wind farm in Poland to supply its manufacturing facility in Jawor in south-west Poland. It is also the first automotive PPA in Europe, according to trade group WindEurope.
The Taczalin wind farm has been in operation since late 2013, and the carmaker will start using its energy next year, developer VSB Energie said.
The deal is more welcome news for the Polish wind sector after the government eased restrictions on new and existing wind farm operations earlier this year.
New regulations implemented by the government in July will reduce the amount of tax paid by wind farm operators and also pave the way for up to 1000 MW of new capacity to be auctioned later this year.
According to WindEurope, the Mercedes-Benz deal is another sign that corporate PPA deals are expanding rapidly in Europe. There was a 130 per cent increase in the volume of wind energy contracted through such PPAs in 2017 alone, it said in a statement.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “This is a double first. The first corporate renewable PPA deal in the automotive sector and the first major PPA in Poland.
“Renewable PPAs provide corporate energy consumers with reliable and competitively-priced power – and enable them to lock in their energy costs at fixed prices over a long period. They also provide stable revenue for wind farms which reduces financing costs.”