Ørsted announced the signing of an 80 MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with Bloomberg for renewable energy generated by the Mockingbird Solar Center. This agreement brings the 471 MW project currently under construction near Paris, Texas to a fully contracted status for its full capacity.
The project is Ørsted’s largest solar facility and ranks seventh on PV Intel’s largest projects to begin construction within the last year. It is also the company’s first project to incorporate conservation efforts with the protection of native tallgrass prairie. Ørsted is collaborating with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to protect nearly 1,000 acres of native tallgrass prairies in Texas. The company will purchase and transfer the land to TNC this year. Less than 1% of the original tallgrass prairies of Texas remain today, and less than 5% has survived nationwide. The collaboration will mark the largest conservation of tallgrass prairies on record, the company reports.
“Ørsted’s commitment to the responsible development of clean energy at Mockingbird Solar Center demonstrates that conservation and clean energy can coexist,” said Monica Testa, Head of Origination, Americas at Ørsted. “We’re proud to partner with Bloomberg in support of their sustainability goals and thrilled to see companies continue to prioritize the responsible development of clean energy in line with nature.”
Bloomberg is joined by Covestro and Royal DSM as corporate customers buying power from the Mockingbird Solar Center.
In 2016, Bloomberg joined the RE100, a global corporate initiative comprised of businesses committed to sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable energy. According to Bloomberg, in 2022, the company secured 192,533 MWh of renewable energy from 11 projects, representing 54.6% of Bloomberg’s global purchased electricity. With the signing of this PPA, Bloomberg expects the additional renewable energy sourced from the Mockingbird Solar Center to cover 100% of its U.S. electricity use and 80% of global electricity use.
“We look forward to partnering with Ørsted on the purchase of renewable energy to progress our RE100 target while also meaningfully contributing to conservation efforts,” said Dave Wildman, global head facilities, sustainability ops, MEP infrastructure at Bloomberg.The Mockingbird facility is expected to produce the equivalent of 80,000 Texas homes’ electricity demand, interconnecting with Texas utility Oncor. The project will create at least 200 jobs during construction and will require long-term staffing for operations and maintenance. Project construction is slated for January 2023 and is expected to be completed in 2024.
The project will inject an estimated $215 million new revenue into the tax base, promoting local economic development in Lamar County, and providing long-term financial support for North Lamar and Chisum Independent School Districts.
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