Danone signs 12-year renewable energy deal with Enel

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

The electricity secured from the deal will be enough to sustainably produce millions of cups of yogurt and gallons of milk every year. Pic: Getty Images/bzzup
The electricity secured from the deal will be enough to sustainably produce millions of cups of yogurt and gallons of milk every year. Pic: Getty Images/bzzup

Related tags Danone Danone North America Wind power Renewable energy Sustainability

Enel Green Power is constructing a new 500 megawatt (MW) plant worth $720m in Texas. Danone North America signed a power purchase agreement with the wind farm for a 12 year deal.

The new plant will generate around 1.9 terawatt-hours (TWh) annually, and avoid the emission of more than 1.2m tons of CO2​ per year. Work on the High Lonesome wind farm is under way in Upton and Crockett Counties in Texas.

Enel said it is the largest operational wind project in the company’s global renewable portfolio. In Texas, Enel already operates the 63 MW Snyder wind farm in Scurry County. It is also building one of the largest solar plants in the state, the 497 MW Roadrunner solar farm.

The renewable energy power purchase agreement with Danone is expected to provide enough electricity to produce the equivalent of almost 800m cups of yogurt and more than 80m gallons of milk each year.

It will support Danone’s commitment to securing 50% of its purchased electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2020, and 100% by 2030. Operations of the plant are kicking off now in the first quarter of 2020.

Danone also committed to zero net carbon emissions by 2050, which it says means the company is responsible for the carbon emissions from the farms where it sources ingredients to the facilities that manage packaging once the products are consumed.

It has focused on reducing emissions, transforming agricultural practices to sequester more carbon in the ground, eliminating deforestation from its supply chain and offsetting the emissions that remain.

Enel said the energy produced by a 295 MW portion of the project will be hedged under a Proxy Revenue Swap (PRS) with insurer Allianz and Nephila Climate. This is designed to guarantee revenues for the project regardless of power price fluctuations and weather-driven intermittency.

In April 2019, General Mills struck a similar deal with Roaring Fork Wind, LLC and purchased 15 years of wind energy to power its US facilities. Roaring Fork is also located in Texas, a particularly favorable area of the country for wind.

Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power, said, “The start of operations of Enel’s largest wind farm in the world marks a significant achievement for our company and reinforces our global commitment to accelerated renewable energy growth.

“This milestone is matched with a new partnership with Danone North America to support their renewable goals, a reinforcement of our continued commitment to provide customers with tailored solutions to meet their sustainability goals.”

Mariano Lozano, president and CEO of Danone North America, said, “This is an exciting and significant step as we continue to advance our 2030 renewable electricity goals. As a public benefit corporation committed to balancing the needs of our business with those of society and the planet, we truly believe that this agreement makes sense from both a business and sustainability point of view.”

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