USA – Flour-milling and ingredient company, Ardent Mills has signed a 25-year energy agreement with US Solar to purchase 1.8 million kWh annually under a subscription plan.
The deal, which supports US Solar’s Goodhue County, Minnesota solar gardens, is expected to reduce energy costs at its mill in Hastings, Minnesota.
Jeff Zyskowski, vice-president of supply chain at Ardent Mills and the senior leadership team sponsor regarding sustainability said that the agreement strengthens the company’s ambitions of investing sustainably.
“These projects are in line with our commitment to sustainable energy and will further bolster the renewable energy market in Minnesota,” Jeff said.
“Supporting renewable energy in any capacity is a priority for Ardent Mills and critical piece of our strategic plan for growth.”
Although the solar gardens will not directly power the mill, Ardent said its subscription plan, and the subsequent construction of the solar gardens, will bring more solar energy onto the local electrical grid, reports Food Business News.
Ardent Mills joins other residents and public entities subscribing to US Solar’s gardens. The first solar garden has started construction and is anticipated to be online later this year.
“Ardent Mills’ subscription is key to US Solar’s development of the solar gardens in Goodhue county,” said Martin Mobley, chief executive officer of US Solar. “These gardens will bring more clean, local solar energy onto the electric grid.”
Ardent Mills has built a team to conceptualize, research and implement projects that will make a positive environmental impact, including hiring a full-time Sustainability Lead, Phoenix Dugger.
Last year, Ardent Mills also invested in sustainable energy solutions in Kansas at its Newton and Wichita community mills.
The facilities enrolled in Westar’s new Green Energy Program, under which program they anticipate receiving a substantial portion of their energy from the newly-constructed Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center.
New recycling standards and electrical service upgrades are among the steps Ardent Mills has taken to reduce its environmental impact, according to a recent sustainability report released by the company on July 29.
By choosing renewable energy, Ardent Mills estimates that it will reduce its total carbon footprint by over 29,000 metric tons each year.
Established in 1853, Ardent’s mill in Hastings was the first operating mill in Minnesota as well as the first all-roller mill facility in the United States.
The mill makes many different blends of flour that are used in a variety of finished goods, including bread, buns, pizza, tortillas, pasta, cereal bars and snack foods.