Stonyfield Organic to use renewable electricity in NH plant by end of 2022

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The solar projects are under construction and are expected to be operational by January 2022. Pic: Getty Images/DiyanaDimitrova
The solar projects are under construction and are expected to be operational by January 2022. Pic: Getty Images/DiyanaDimitrova

Related tags Organic Milk Dairy solar power

Yogurt producer Stonyfield Organic has announced it will be using 100% renewable electricity at its Londonderry, New Hampshire, manufacturing facility by the end of 2022.

The company said it will achieve this through purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) and by supporting the construction of seven new solar projects in New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

In June 2021, Stonyfield Organic announced new sustainability goals, including a commitment to 100% renewable electricity supply for its Londonderry, NH manufacturing facility by 2025, 100% renewable electricity for its dairy supply chain by 2025 and a carbon positive dairy supply chain by 2030.

“Transitioning our manufacturing facility in Londonderry, NH and the family farms we source from to renewable energy sources is a key part of how we get to our science-based target to reduce our emissions 30% by 2030,”​ said Britt Lundgren, director of sustainable and organic agriculture at the company.

“We’re excited to take this first step towards 100% renewable energy for our Londonderry, NH manufacturing facility ahead of schedule, so we can turn our focus to supporting the farms from which we source our milk directly in making this transition next,”

In New Hampshire, Stonyfield Organic has teamed up with Aligned Climate Capital, the project owner, and GSSG Solar, LLC, the project developer, to help bring four of these solar projects to life.

The solar projects are under construction and are currently expected to be operational by January 2022. Two of the sites, in Loudon, NH, and Conway, NH, are located on land owned by private residents.  The other two sites are in Nashua, NH. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, New Hampshire is ranked 41st out of the 50 states in terms of deployed solar, and solar accounts for less than 1% of the state’s electricity.

In the Midwest, Stonyfield Organic has teamed up with OneEnergy Renewables to support three projects that will sell electricity to local rural electric cooperatives. Rushford Village Solar, Stockton Solar and Stromland Solar represent an investment of more than $8m, and will generate cost-effective electricity for the rural communities of Fillmore and Winona Counties in Minnesota and Buffalo County, Wisconsin.

The land around the panels will be either grazed by sheep or planted to pollinator prairie habitat. The land to host the projects will be leased from local farm families and municipalities and will generate reliable income over the project life for the landowner partners. About one third of electricity in the broader region is generated by coal; these solar projects will allow the rural electric cooperatives who are buying the electricity to rely less on coal and other imported forms of electricity and more on local renewable electricity.

These projects are currently projected to start commercial operations in November 2021 and the sale of renewable energy credits (RECs) to Stonyfield Organic will start in December 2021.

By separately leveraging its electricity load and converting that revenue into buying power, Stonyfield Organic said it can support new renewable energy developments locally and nationally, as well as reduce costs overall and support more renewables. The RECs will enable the company to attain 75% renewable electricity for the Londonderry, NH manufacturing facility. Stonyfield Organic is actively looking to attain the remaining 25% by the end of 2022.