Meijer, a major grocery and retailer in the Midwest US, recently stated goals to achieve 50% renewable energy-powered operations by 2025. The company took a major step in that direction, signing a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions.
The PPA is attached to the Pisgah Ridge Solar project, a Texas ERCOT located 250MW facility that broke ground recently. The project is expected to be completed this year, providing 200 to 300 construction jobs.
Each year, the Pisgah Ridge Solar project will generate approximately 200,000MWh of electricity for Meijer. The decarbonization of Meijer’s operations due to the PPA would be equivalent to taking 20,000 vehicles off the road, or the carbon sequestration of 125,000 acres of forests.
“Meijer has made significant progress over the years to integrate sustainability into our daily operations. We’re committed to these ongoing efforts and a project like this brings us closer to our industry leading sustainability goals,” said president and CEO Rick Keyes.
Schneider Electric advised Meijer in project selection and negotiations. “The need for organizations to take immediate action to decarbonize is at an all-time high, and we are excited to see organizations like Meijer leading the charge to include renewable energy as a part of their long-term strategy,” said Steve Wilhite, president of Schneider Electric’s sustainability business.
Pisgah Ridge, once completed, will be the largest Duke-owned utility-scale solar project. Charles River Laboratories is another corporate offtaker on the project, signed on for 102MW for 15 years. Meijer splits the rest with one other corporation, not yet revealed. Engineering and construction will be performed by Moss & Associates.
Major utility Duke Energy recently announced plans to phase out coal use by 2035. Duke aims for 50% carbon reductions by 2030 and zero-carbon by 2050. Its subsidiary Duke Energy Sustainability Solutions operates 500MW of solar and a 36MW battery storage facility in Texas. Duke Energy said it plans to double its enterprise-wide renewable portfolio from 8 GW to 16 GW by the end of 2025.
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