Cargill, Walmart announce first virtual power purchase agreement in S.D.
The agreement supports Cargill’s commitment to increase its use of renewable energy sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Cargill, Minneapolis, today announced a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Geronimo Energy, Edina, Minn., where Cargill will buy 50 megawatts (MW) of wind power from Geronimo Energy’s 200MW Crocker Wind Farm project, which is currently under construction in Clark County, S.D. The wind energy will be used to help partially offset the impact of Cargill’s Midwest operations.
The agreement supports Cargill’s commitment to increase its use of renewable energy sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Cargill has committed to reducing absolute GHG emissions in the company’s operations by 10% by 2025 against a 2017 baseline. This VPPA will deliver approximately 10% of that energy target.
“Cargill is a strong and outspoken advocate for climate action. We cannot ignore the impact of a changing climate on our global food system. We believe business has a critical role to play. That’s why we are investing in renewable energy to reduce emissions from our company’s operations, while contributing to the renewable economy,” says Jill Kolling, global sustainability leader. “Long-term purchase agreements like this one with Geronimo Energy allow Cargill to leverage our scale to accelerate the production of renewable energy.”
Cargill’s VPPA with Geronimo Energy represents 25% of the wind farm’s capacity. Walmart, Bentonville, Ark., signed a related VPPA to purchase 150MW—the remaining 75%—from Geronimo’s Crocker project.
“Walmart has a goal to be supplied by 100% renewable energy, and sourcing from wind energy projects like the Crocker Wind Farm project will be a core component in the mix,” says Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of energy for Walmart. “The energy we’ll procure from this facility represents an important leap forward on our renewable energy journey.”
The Crocker Wind Farm is expected to begin producing power at the end of 2019. Cargill will purchase power through the VPPA for 12 years, and Geronimo will own and operate the renewable energy systems. By committing to purchase renewable power through long-term agreements, Cargill is providing a predictable stream of income to support the development of significant renewable energy capacity.
Wind energy is one of 15 renewable energy sources used by Cargill facilities around the world. Renewable energy, which represents 15% of the company’s power usage, is used at over 100 Cargill locations worldwide.
“We will continue to look for opportunities to drive efficiencies, accelerate progress and invest in renewable energy to reduce GHG emissions from our operations. It’s the right thing to do for our company and for our planet,” says Kolling.