Bulgarian telcos Yettel Bulgaria and CETIN Bulgaria have signed a solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with local energy firm Electrohold.

The companies this week announced a 10-year PPA that will see the telecoms companies offtake energy from an upcoming unnamed 123 MW photovoltaic plant, which is set to be completed in the spring of 2023.

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– Yettel Bulgaria

Details about how much of the solar farm’s output the two companies will off-take haven’t been shared but were described as covering a ‘major part’ of the companies’ operations.

“Electricity used for business needs is one of the main sources of carbon emissions in the telecom industry. Therefore, the agreement with Electrohold will bring Yettel closer to the implementation of its decarbonization plans and to the construction of a completely green network powered by renewable sources," said Jason King, CEO of Yettel.

Petar Mudrinich, CEO of CETIN Bulgaria, added: "This landmark deal is an important milestone in our partnership with Electrohold and a huge step towards reducing our environmental footprint. With this project, we hope to become a role model when it comes to doing business in a modern and sustainable way.”

Both Yettel and CETIN are part of Czech firm PPF Telecom Group. Founded in 2001 by Greece’s OTE group, Yettel Bulgaria (formerly known as Telenor Bulgaria, and Globul before that) is a mobile network operator and the third-largest fixed telecommunications company in the country. CETIN is a telecoms infrastructure company that was spun out of what was then Telenor Bulgaria in 2020.

Founded in 2004, Electrohold was part of Czech Energy company CEZ Group until it was sold last year to insurance company Eurohold.

"We would like to thank Yettel and CETIN for their trust in Electrohold. The deal is one of the first in Bulgaria for a period of 10 years at freely negotiated prices and shows the beginning of a new trend in the market in line with the green transition. The contract will guarantee stable and predictable income for investors and creditors on the one hand, as well as a competitive price and fixed electricity costs for the customer on the other hand," said Karel Kral, CEO of Elektrohold Bulgaria.

Rival Bulgarian telco A1 signed a PPA to offtake from a 33MW solar farm with Renalfa AD last year. Other European telcos that have signed PPAs to cover the energy requirements of their networks and data centers include Orange, Telia, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Telenor, and Hrvatski Telekom.

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