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OVO signs new deal with Eneco supporting the future of renewable energy

29 June 2021 | Aimee Tweedale

OVO signs deal with Eneco

Here at OVO, we’re propelling forward in our mission to bring clean power to our members’ homes. 

In April 2021, we were able to share the exciting news that we had signed a Power Purchase Agreement with Ørsted, to support wind energy in the UK. 

Today, we’re happy to announce that we’ve signed our second power purchase agreement (or PPA). This time, we’ve joined forces with Eneco, to buy power from Crystal Rig, an onshore wind farm in Scotland. 

By signing these deals, we’re proud to support the future of renewable electricity in the UK.

Are you as excited as we are? Keep reading to learn more about Crystal Rig, and how this makes a difference to the energy you buy from OVO. 

OVO’s renewable electricity journey so far

Throughout our past, OVO has been working towards a greener future. Back in 2015, we were the first mainstream energy company to turn our back on coal. More recently, in 2020, we made the big move to supply all our members with 100% renewable electricity as standard1. That means all our tariffs come with green electricity.

The renewable electricity we sell is backed by Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (or REGOs). Buying these certificates proves that each unit of electricity we sell is matched by one unit of renewable electricity entering the grid. 

But we wanted to go further than buying certificates, by directly supporting renewable energy generators doing essential work in the UK. 

In April 2021 we announced our first PPA with Ørsted, the Danish renewable energy company that owns several UK wind farms. This deal with Ørsted means we’ve bought 100% of the power forecast to be generated by Barrow Offshore Wind Farm from February 2021.

Today, we’re happy to share the news of our second PPA, strengthening our commitment to wind power in the UK. This new agreement, with Eneco, means we’ll purchase electricity generated by the Crystal Rig wind farm in Scotland, operated by Fred. Olsen Renewables. OVO is buying 100% of the power forecast to be generated at Crystal Rig from March 2021.

Read more about wind energy and how it works in our complete guide.

Crystal Rig wind farm: the facts

The entire Crystal Rig site is the second largest wind farm in the UK. It’s made up of Crystal Rig I (which is the wind farm we’re buying power from), and Crystal Rig II (built 2010).

Here are 4 quick things you should know about Crystal Rig I.

  • Where is it? Crystal Rig I is located on the Lammermuir Hills in the Scottish Borders region of Scotland. It forms the southern boundary of the council area of East Lothian. 
  • When was it built? May 2004. 
  • Who owns it? Crystal Rig I is owned by Fred. Olsen Renewables, a developer that’s been building wind farms in the UK and Scandinavia since the 1990s. OVO’s agreement is with Eneco, who manage the sale of power from the farm. 
  • How many turbines does it have? When it was first built in 2004, it had 20 wind turbines. This made it the biggest onshore wind farm in Scotland at the time. In 2007, 5 more turbines were added. Currently it has 25 turbines, each one 60 metres tall. That’s taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa2!

Want to learn more about wind turbines and how they work? Read our handy guide.

A family on the beach with wind turbines in the background

How is OVO going to reach net zero carbon?

Signing PPAs with green energy generators is just one way that we’re supporting the transition to a more renewable, zero carbon future. We’re also investing in the technologies needed to build a cleaner energy system. This is all part of our journey to net zero carbon.

Here are a few more ways we’re driving progress towards net zero. For more detail, read our blog about what OVO’s doing to reach our goal of clean, green energy for all.

Powering electric cars

We’re accelerating towards an electric future. In fact, our Drive Anytime plan is the UK’s only home energy plan made specifically for electric car drivers. EV owners can also choose our EV Everywhere tariff, which comes with free access to charge points across the UK.

Not only that, but in 2019, we launched the world’s first domestic Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charger. That’s a home EV charger that can send any energy you don’t use back to the grid. OVO’s V2G trial is the largest domestic trial of its kind in the world!

Taking carbon out of home heating

At the core of our mission is the decarbonisation of home heat. That’s a fancy way of saying we need to find new, affordable ways to heat UK homes without relying on natural gas (which is a fossil fuel).

OVO is pioneering the use of smart tech, like meters and thermostats, in our members’ homes. Plus: we’re running the Zero Carbon Heating Trial, installing low carbon boiler replacements (like air source heat pumps) in homes in the South East.

Want to track the carbon footprint of your home? Check out OVO Greenlight, our new tool for seeing exactly how much energy you’re using (and how to cut back).

Creating a greener electricity grid

As the UK shifts away from natural gas, we’re going to need a lot more electricity. That means we also need a smarter, more flexible electricity grid. 

The AI-enabled software that powers our V2G chargers is an important step towards this smarter future. Plus: we’ve founded Flexibility First, a cross-industry forum, to advocate for grid flexibility on a bigger scale. 

Find out more about how the National Grid works, and how we’re supporting the shift away from fossil fuels. 

Planting trees

Nature itself is one of the greatest tools we have in the fight against the climate crisis. In order to meet our emissions targets in the UK, it’s important to both protect the nature we have, and to plant more trees. 

At OVO, we plant 1 tree for every member, every year (and 5 extra for OVO Beyond members3). We also support reforestation and conservation projects through our OVO Beyond carbon offsetting programme, and planting trees in cities through OVO Foundation, our charity arm. Find out more about how and why we plant trees all over the UK.

Switch to OVO Energy

Join OVO on our journey to net zero carbon 

Did you know that as much as 28% of your personal carbon footprint comes from your home energy4? Do you want to be a part of our journey to net zero carbon?

Switch to OVO today and you’ll get the benefit of:

  • 100% renewable electricity as standard
  • 1 tree planted for every year you’re with us
  • OVO Greenlight: our clever energy-saving tool
  • 3-5% Interest Rewards when your account has a positive balance5
  • An award-winning smart meter experience (Uswitch 2020)
  • A £50 gift card every time you introduce a friend
  • A 5-star rating on Trustpilot by over 30,000 of our members

Plus: our green upgrade, OVO Beyond provides 100% carbon neutral energy (including 15% green gas – one of the best mixes available in the UK). 

Sources and references:

1 100% of the renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates and how these work. A proportion of the electricity we sell is also purchased directly from renewable generators in the UK.

2 https://www.towerofpisa.org/leaning-tower-of-pisa-facts/

3 Each year, OVO plants 1 tree for every member in partnership with the Woodland Trust. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so tree-planting helps to slow down climate change.

4 Based on analysis carried out by the Carbon Trust for OVO Group (2020), 28% of an average individual’s carbon footprint in the UK comes from energy. In this analysis, the carbon footprint includes the following lifestyle categories: energy, transport, shopping, food and drink and holidays. See table below for each category. This carbon footprint data has been calculated using BEIS 2020 emission factors. This excludes emissions from things that the average person cannot directly control such as supporting the NHS, defence, government bodies, etc. Please note these figures are not reflective of potential changes to your habits during the coronavirus pandemic.

5 Interest Rewards are paid on positive balances of customers paying by monthly Direct Debit. It is calculated at 3% in your first year, 4% in your second year and 5% in your third year (and every year thereafter) if you pay by Direct Debit.

6 Enjoy even greener energy with OVO Beyond in comparison with our standard OVO plans. In addition to 100% renewable electricity as available with our standard plans, OVO Beyond reduces your yearly carbon emissions from the energy used in your home that is supplied by OVO to net zero by providing 100% carbon-neutral gas (15% green gas and 85% offset) and offsetting all associated lifecycle carbon emissions involved in the production and consumption of your electricity & gas, you will also get 5 trees per year in UK schools and communities and other green benefits. The renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates and how these work. A proportion of the electricity we sell is also purchased directly from renewable generators in the UK. The green gas we sell is backed via renewable certificates (Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin and how these work. We offset the remaining emissions by supporting UN REDD+ carbon reduction projects that are certified to the Verified Carbon Standard or the Gold Standard. See here for more information on how we restore nature and protect rainforests with our offsetting programmes.

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