Organic Valley, La Farge, Wis., announced plans to become what is said to be the largest food company in the world to be 100% renewably powered.
In October 2017, Organic Valley committed to achieve 100% renewable power at its corporate facilities.
In the spirit of cooperation, 13 communities across the Midwest, including Arcadia, Cashton, La Farge, Merrillan and Viola, Wis., and St. Charles, Minn., will also benefit from this partnership, including six in Organic Valley’s project portfolio. Beyond Organic Valley’s 12.3 megawatt (MWdc) project portfolio, an additional 19 MWdc will be constructed, resulting in over 31 MWdc of new solar in the region, including a 33% increase in Wisconsin.
When the projects begin generating power next year, the Arcadia array, sized at 6.78 MW, will be dubbed as the largest solar array in the state of Wisconsin.
“Organic Valley is a farmer-owned cooperative with deep roots in the rural Midwest, so it makes sense that we would work together to create new sources of energy right here at home that can be shared by all,” says George Siemon, founder farmer and CEO of Organic Valley. “We are committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity for our cooperative, but also sharing the bounty of solar electricity with rural communities where we live and work.”
“As leaders in food and farming, it is our responsibility to pioneer change for good. We want to help others replicate this model around the country and propel more rural communities toward economic stability and energy independence,” says Jonathan Reinbold, head of sustainability, Organic Valley. “This exciting project is another example of Organic Valley furthering our mission to serve family farms and rural communities.”
These projects resulted from a unique collaboration between Organic Valley, OneEnergy Renewables, Seattle, Wash., and the participating communities.