Engenera Renewables Group, one of the UK’s leading renewable energy companies, has completed a unique, landmark project that will allow Sensient Technologies to achieve significant energy savings and reduce its carbon footprint by installing a bespoke, fully funded Solar PV system linked to a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement.

Sensient Technologies, based in Kings Lynn, is a global developer and marketer of high-performance, technology-based colour and flavour systems. Its global operations serve customers in more than 150 countries and its annual revenues exceed $1.5 billion.

As such, Sensient has very high energy demands. Following a full assessment and structural survey of the business, including an in-depth review of its considerable current energy usage, Engenera developed a solution that would gain maximum results, in terms of energy savings and carbon reductions, with minimum impact to operations.

In April 2021, the UK government brought forward its target of reducing carbon emissions by 78% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2035 – a 15-year reduction on the previous target of 2050. This will mean increased incentives for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and invest in renewable energy projects.

With this in mind, Engenera has broadened its offering to encompass a wider range of renewable energy solutions, pivoting to become a decarbonisation partner for businesses seeking a holistic solution to better manage all their energy needs and help them align with government targets.

Sensient’s UK headquarters has a significant amount of roof space and, due to the nature of the business, the company’s energy bill is extremely high. Following extensive feasibility studies and consultation with the client, Engenera designed a tailored solution for Sensient that would result in significant savings.

It has installed 540 PV Modules at the site with a PV Generator Output 199.8 kWp and covering a PV Generator Surface of 998.8 m². The technology is linked to a state-of-the-art energy monitoring technology, which will help the business significantly reduce its energy bills and carbon footprint. What’s more, by also putting in place a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement, the entire arrangement was completed at no cost to Sensient.

A Power Purchase Agreement enables businesses – large or small – to benefit from clean, renewable energy without having to pay any costs up-front. Entering into an agreement with Engenera Renewables Group means businesses will pay for discounted solar electricity, rather than having to invest in a system of their own.  It also comes with the added benefits of having the system fully maintained a knowledgeable team of engineers, and the energy prices the business pays after installation will be fixed for up to 25-years – rising only with inflation.

Sensient was paying some 12.36 p/kWh for its energy; Engenera’s new proposed PPA price was 8.5 p/kWh, a reduction of 31%. Over the course of the 25-year agreement, it is estimated this will result in savings of almost £500,000 for Sensient; even more significantly the savings in years 26-35 will be more than £600,000. It is estimated Sensient will save more than £1 million on its energy bills in the next 35 years.

In effect, Sensient can reap the benefits of Solar PV without having to take on any responsibilities of being a Solar PV system owner-operator; thereby freeing up capital to reinvest into other, core business activities.

The ultra-efficiency of the Solar PV system panels means that even on the cloudiest of days, solar energy will be harnessed and converted into electricity. Calculations also show that Sensient will make significant carbon reduction of 52,864 kgCO²e in year-1 alone – helping the environment at the same time as reducing its fuel costs.

The project poised some unique challenges, one of which was to design the very long run of electrical cabling routing both internally through the working factory areas and externally around the buildings and service yard areas to reach the final point of connection within the existing switch room.

This was managed by undertaking pre commencement on site interface meetings with the customer to determine best routes for installation whilst maintaining Sensient Colours’ critical day-to-day operations and unobstructed future maintenance access.

Engenera was able to successfully plan the best route to minimise penetrations of the structure by utilising existing penetrations, substantially reducing the length of the cabling runs with avoidance of intertwining around buildings by taking straight line external overhead routing runs by adding to / adapting the customer’s existing cable racks, which provided the most all-round economical solution and free and easy access for maintenance needs.

Jon Brady, Production Director for Sensient Technologies, said:

“I would like to say that we are delighted with the project in terms of speed of delivery, lack of business disruption and lack of problems with subcontractors. We look forward to many years of improved sustainability and lower electricity bills.”

Jamie Morrison, Chief Commercial Officer, Engenera Renewables Group, said:

“We have recently repositioned our offering as being a decarbonisation partner of choice for business, while also helping them saving money on their energy consumption. Projects like this showcase exactly what we are good at – helping businesses develop the right solution for them with the least disruption possible and, ideally, with no outlay due to our PPAs. The significance of such projects is not just that we help a business save money, it also helps the wider environment but also supports job creation and investment boosting the economy in the process.”