Cargill Announces First Virtual Power Purchase Agreement in South Dakota
(MINNEAPOLIS) October 18, 2018 – Cargill today announced a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with developer Geronimo Energy. Through the agreement, Cargill will buy 50 megawatts (MW) of wind power from Geronimo Energy’s 200MW Crocker Wind Farm project, which is currently under construction in Clark County, South Dakota. The wind energy will be used to help partially offset the impact of Cargill’s Midwest operations.
The agreement supports Cargill’s commitment to increase their use of renewable energy sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Cargill has committed to reduce absolute GHG emissions in the company’s operations by 10 percent by 2025 against a 2017 baseline. This VPPA will deliver approximately 10 percent of that energy target.
“Cargill is a strong and outspoken advocate for climate action. We cannot ignore the impact of a changing climate on our global food system. We believe business has a critical role to play. That’s why we are investing in renewable energy to reduce emissions from our company’s operations, while contributing to the renewable economy,” said Jill Kolling, Cargill Global Sustainability Leader. “Long-term purchase agreements like this one with Geronimo Energy allow Cargill to leverage our scale to accelerate the production of renewable energy.”
Cargill’s VPPA with Geronimo Energy represents 25 percent of the wind farm’s capacity. Walmart has signed a related VPPA to purchase 150MW – the remaining 75 percent from Geronimo’s Crocker project.
“Walmart has a goal to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, and sourcing from wind energy projects like the Crocker Wind Farm project will be a core component in the mix,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President of Energy for Walmart. “The energy we’ll procure from this facility represents an important leap forward on our renewable energy journey.”
The Crocker Wind Farm is expected to begin producing power at the end of 2019. Cargill has agreed to purchase power through the VPPA for 12 years. Geronimo will own and operate the renewable energy systems. By committing to purchase renewable power through long-term agreements, Cargill is providing a predictable stream of income to support the development of significant renewable energy capacity. These commitments allow the project to be built with lower-cost financing and deliver energy at highly competitive prices.
Wind energy is one of 15 renewable energy sources used by Cargill facilities around the world. Renewable energy, which represents 15 percent of the company’s power usage, is used at over 100 Cargill locations worldwide. Use of renewables is just one way Cargill is continuing to reduce GHG emissions from the company’s operations.
Cargill set its first energy efficiency target in 2000 and continues to advance its commitments so that as the company grows, emissions will go down. In 2015, Cargill stood alongside a handful of large multinational companies to reaffirm their commitments to reduce GHG emissions through the American Business Act on Climate Change. In 2017, Cargill signed an open letter to the U.S. administration stating that Cargill and other signatories are “still in” on combating climate change.
“We will continue to look for opportunities to drive efficiencies, accelerate progress and invest in renewable energy to reduce GHG emissions from our operations. It’s the right thing to do for our company and for our planet,” said Kolling.
Amy Truelsen, Sr. Director Sustainability and CR Communication
Cargill’s 160,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 154 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture.
About Geronimo Energy
Geronimo Energy is a full-service renewable energy company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Geronimo Energy has developed over 2,000 megawatts of wind and solar projects that are either operational or currently under construction and has a multi-gigawatt development pipeline of projects in various stages of development throughout the United States. Geronimo Energy provides custom solutions for corporations, utilities and other power purchasers looking to harness renewable energy for business growth. With deep roots in agriculture, Geronimo Energy prides itself on developing renewable energy projects that are farmer-friendly, community-driven, and beneficial for rural America. For more information, please visit www.geronimoenergy.com/corporations.