Nestlé in the US, in partnership with EDP Renewables, a global business in the renewable energy sector and one of the world's largest wind energy producers, has announced a 15-year power purchase agreement that will provide approximately 80 percent of the electricity load for five Nestlé facilities in southeastern Pennsylvania. The agreement is a major step forward for Nestlé's ambition to procure 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.
EDP Renewables' Meadow Lake VI wind farm will generate and deliver 50 megawatts of electricity through the PJM Interconnection grid to manufacturing facilities and distribution centers operated by Nestlé Purina PetCare, Nestlé USA and Nestlé Waters North America in Allentown and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Because the wind farm and the recipient facilities are located on the same regional grid, the power purchase agreement provides traceability from the Pennsylvania facilities back to the wind farm. With the addition of the energy from the wind farm, 20 percent of the electricity Nestlé uses in the US will come from renewable sources in 2019.
This power purchase agreement is in line with Nestlé's advocacy for state policies to ensure companies have access to renewable energy. This renewable energy project will help Nestlé cut energy costs, avoid the volatility of fossil fuel prices and stay competitive.
Through this power purchase agreement, EDPR will expand the capacity of its Meadow Lake VI wind farm in Benton County, Indiana. The expansion will add 50 MW, enough to power approximately 17,700 homes for one year, to the existing 150 MW EDPR has already secured for the project. Additionally, the wind farm will bring a number of economic benefits to the state of Indiana in the form of jobs, landowner and tax payments, and money spent in local communities. Construction on the expansion project will begin early in 2018, and the facility will be fully operational at the end of 2018. With the completion of the wind farm, the six-phase Meadow Lake project will total 800 MW.
Other companies in the pet food industry are making commitments to renewable energy. In 2017, Mars Petcare flipped the switch on a new solar garden linked to the company's San Bernardino, California manufacturing facility that produces Pedigree Brand dry dog food. Mars partnered with Ahana Renewables, a subsidiary of ATN International, Inc., to develop and fund the project under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
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