WestRock, a company committed to sustainable packaging, is going a step further in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by entering into two virtual power plant agreements (VPPA) with Engie North America.
WestRock has been demonstratong its environmental stewardship in several ways. The company developed new technologies and partnerships to replace plastic with fiber-based materials and it has partnered with customers on recycling initiatives. The company also practices sustainable forestry, water stewardship and is actively working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
With a target of reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 27.5% (from 2019 levels) by 2030, WestRock achieved a 5.6% reduction last year. The company also intends to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 27.5% from 2019 levels, which includes fuel use and energy consumption, transportation and more. To this end, WestRock has signed the two VPPAs for clean energy generated from the two Texas facilities.
The VPPAs support the Bernard Creek solar project in Wharton County, Texas and Chillingham Solar in Bell County, Texas. Schneider Electric, which integrates process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, provided advisory services and strategy management for the agreements.
WestRock will contract 207 MW from Bernard Creek, a 230 MW solar project that is expected to have an annual output of approximately 500 GWh. The project, slated for completion in the first half of 2024, is expected to generate more than $45 million in revenue for Wharton County over its lifespan and to create more than 250 jobs during construction.
From the 350 MW Chillingham Solar project, WestRock will contract 75 MW or an annual share of approximately 200,000 MWh per year. The Chillingham project, expected to be complete in 2023, will help support two local school districts with an estimated $70 million in revenue generated over the life of the project, of which $53 million will be paid directly to the school districts.
“We are delighted that Bernard Creek and Chillingham Solar will support WestRock’s ambitions to meet their 2030 science-based targets,” said Dave Carroll, chief renewables officer and country manager, Engie North America.
Engie North America Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is a regional hub of Engie, a global corporation focused on low-carbon energy and services. Engie’s total corporate PPA portfolio in the U.S. reportedly exceeds 7 GW.
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