Midwestern retailer Meijer announced today its involvement in a utility-scale solar project that will make significant strides toward its recently announced carbon reduction goal.
The retailer signed a renewable energy power purchase agreement (VPPA) with developer Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions*, which states Meijer will purchase a portion of all energy generated by the project for the first 15 years of operation. The project broke ground in Navarro County, Texas on 1,800 acres of land and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
"At Meijer, we are motivated to make an impact in the local communities we serve, and beyond, by doing our part and taking the necessary steps to reduce carbon emissions," Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. "Meijer has made significant progress over the years to integrate sustainability into our daily operations. We're committed to these ongoing efforts and a project like this brings us closer to our industry leading sustainability goals."
Each year, the Pisgah Ridge Solar project will generate approximately 200,000 megawatt hours of energy for the first year dedicated to Meijer. This clean energy will account for a reduction of more than 103,000 metric tons of CO2e from the retailer's operations – equal to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions involved with removing more than 20,000 vehicles from the road, or the carbon sequestered from 125,000 acres of U.S. forests.
"Renewable energy assets like the Pisgah Ridge Solar project contribute to a cleaner, stronger economy and help create a more diverse energy infrastructure. We're pleased to be working with Meijer to create jobs, strengthen the local economy and generate cleaner energy, while also helping them address their carbon reduction goal," said Chris Fallon, President of Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions.
This announcement comes on the heels of the recent commitment from Meijer to reduce 50 percent of its absolute carbon emissions by 2025. The renewable solar project with Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions is the first of multiple strategic partnerships that Meijer will form to achieve its carbon reduction goal, which is rooted in the company's mission to be a good neighbor by serving its communities, as well as protecting the planet for tomorrow.
Meijer is building on its longstanding commitment to the environment by integrating sustainability into daily operations, addressing carbon and waste reduction, recycling, offering local and sustainable products and continuing responsible growth.
"We're proud to be part of this project to enable energy creation through a renewable energy source," said Erik Petrovskis, Director of Environmental Compliance and Sustainability at Meijer. "We believe we have a responsibility to improve the world around us because it's the right thing to do."
Schneider Electric, the leading global advisor on corporate renewable energy procurement, supported Meijer in the selection of and negotiations for the solar project.
"As one of the largest Midwest supermarket chains, Meijer has made commitments to reduce their carbon emissions by 2025, and it is an honor for Schneider Electric to advise them on adding renewable energy to their portfolio," said Steve Wilhite, President of Schneider Electric's Sustainability Business. "The need for organizations to take immediate action to decarbonize is at an all-time high, and we are excited to see organizations like Meijer leading the charge to include renewable energy as a part of their long-term strategy."