AXA signs virtual PPA with Ignis for upcoming 93GWh Spanish solar plant

Global insurance firm AXA has signed a virtual power purchase agreement (PPA) with Spanish renewables developer Ignis, to draw power from the company’s upcoming Spanish solar plant.

AXA announced that Ignis would begin construction on the project “shortly,” and will be operational by May 2025. The farm, which Ignis will build in the Andalucía region, will have a capacity of 93GWh, and AXA will acquire 90% of the farm’s capacity, 84GWh, per year as part of the ten-year deal.

“The energy consumption of our buildings and the digital sector currently account for the largest share of the carbon footprint associated with our own operations,” said Alexander Vollert, CEO of AXA Group Operations, commenting on the fact that the power capacity of the new Spanish project could cover the energy demands of AXA’s European buildings.

“The environmental impact of this contract will be significant, as 75% of the electricity consumed by the Group’s buildings and data centers is located in Europe,” Vollert added.

AXA has made a number of ambitious climate pledges in recent years, including a plan to double its clean energy investments from €12 billion in 2020 to €24 billion by the end of this year. To date, the company’s only corporate PPA was signed with EDF in 2019 for power from a 95MW offshore wind farm in France, but the signing of the Ignis virtual PPA could signal new priorities for AXA’s power supply.

However, solar PPA prices have been driven to new heights in recent months, making some companies hesitant to engage in long-term or high-cost PPAs. In the fourth quarter of last year, the average solar PPA price signed in Europe jumped to €76.84/MWh, a 11.4% quarter-on-quarter increase and a 60% year-on-year increase as increased demand for solar power has brought a number of new companies into the PPA market.

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