Anheuser-Busch buys big solar, signs 7th largest corporate renewable deal


There are few things better than cracking open a cold one on a sunny day. Some lost philosopher, swept up by the winds of history once said “A one that isn’t cold is scarcely a one at all.” Well, Anheuser-Busch (AB), in a deal with developer Recurrent Energy, is banking on the symbiosis of cold ones and sunny days.

The beverage giant just signed the 7th-largest corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) in history, according to data supplied by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a 15-year contract for the entirety of the electricity generated by Recurrent’s 222 MWac Maplewood 1 solar project. The project, along with its sibling, Maplewood 2, is set to be constructed on 2,200 acres located in Pecos County, way out in West Texas. Once completed, the two will generate enough electricity to power 62,000 homes, with 55,000 of those coming courtesy of Maplewood 1.

The deal puts AB in an impressive position, as when the project is completed and begins delivering power in 2021, the entirety of AB’s portfolio of beers – which includes a majority of Mexico’s beer market – will be brewed by using 100% renewable electricity. It also shows that more than just tech companies are interested in investing in renewable energy.

Furthermore, the deal supplants AB to achieve one of the company’s 2025 Sustainability Goals four years ahead of schedule:

Renewable Electricity and Carbon Reduction: 100% of purchased electricity will come from renewable sources; and CO2 emissions across the value chain will be reduced by 25%

Shortly after announcing the Anheuser Busch PPA, Recurrent Energy also shared that it has come to an agreement with Energy Transfer on a 15-year PPA for the 28 MWac generated by the Maplewood 2 project, located adjacent to Maplewood 1. Both projects are expected to be constructed using Recurrent parent company Canadian Solar’s high efficiency multicrystaline modules, which should come as no surprise.

Lastly, this deal represents the intersection of two substantial booms in the solar industry: large-scale corporate solar purchase contracts and the mass of projects planned for Texas. And as we see more and more massive projects under development in the Lone Star State, it’s logical to assume that we’ll see large companies following closely behind to buy the power that they generate.

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