USA – The American food company, Hormel Foods has unveiled plans to become powered by almost 50% renewable energy in an effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
It has signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) to use wind energy in its operations, an ambitious move towards achieving its environmental goals.
The company says the project will result in a reduction of approximately 197,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
This will be supported by a new wind farm to be located near Milligan, Nebraska, with construction set to be completed in 2020.
“As a leading corporate citizen in our industry, we are inspired by projects that minimize environmental impacts and align with the interests of our customers and consumers around the world,” said Tom Raymond, director of environmental sustainability at Hormel Foods.
“This agreement supports our company’s environmental sustainability goals and is a testament to our commitment and support of renewable energy.”
The farm will be capable of 74 MW of power and an estimated 349,000 MWh of electricity each year
The company said it has subscribed to community solar gardens at five manufacturing locations, including a co-sponsorship with Westar Energy for its first community solar garden near Wichita, Kansas, where the company manufactures most of its Hormel® Natural Choice® bacon products.
Hormel Foods said it has partnered with Kinect Energy Group to assess the project and negotiate the agreement.
“We were excited to partner with Hormel Foods to help them meet their renewable energy and sustainability goals,” said Nicholas Franco, director of sustainability services at Kinect Energy Group.
“We were able to leverage our deep electric market experience to assess the project economics and negotiate a VPPA agreement that worked perfectly for Hormel Foods.”
The company also makes SKIPPY®, SPAM®, Hormel® Natural Choice®, Hormel® Black Label®, Columbus® and many other branded food products.
Speaking on the development, Coulter Wood, energy manager at Hormel Foods said: “The addition of renewable energy helps to clean the electrical grid and drive sustainable food production.
“We will look to lead the way in renewable energy acquisition as we continue to feed the world’s growing population in a sustainable manner.”