USA – Organic Valley, United States’ largest farmer-owned organic dairy cooperative, is set to meet its clean energy goals through the construction of a multi-site solar project that will supply 100% of its electricity requirements.

The Solar Project consists of 32 megawatts installed at 10 locations and forms part of the Butter Solar Portfolio, which is owned and operated by BluEarth Renewables US.

The dairy cooperative will now buy renewable energy credits from the three solar projects for more than 25 years. 

“Our community solar partnership allows us to share the benefits of solar energy with our rural neighbours, advancing our mission to care for the people and farms we work with, as well as our planet,” said Bob Kirchoff, CEO of Organic Valley.

“Just as ours has done, community-scale solar projects can also create meaningful and good-paying jobs where they are needed most.”

In addition to the economic benefits of these municipal solar projects, the sites will feature grazing sheep and pollinator habitats under the solar panels.

Dr. Bronner’s, the City of Madison, Lime, and Native Energy have also agreed to buy renewable energy credits (RECs) from their own project or groups of projects.

Organic Valley has more plans in the works to help rural American farms increase their sustainability, both financially and environmentally​ and lower their carbon footprint.

Stanley Minnick, energy services and technology manager of Organic Valley, said, “It was the combined financial impact of all the REC partners that enabled the projects to be financially viable; scaling up is what made this possible.”​

Jamey Fitzgibbon, executive vice-president, engineering and construction, at BluEarth Renewables, said: “With the construction of the entire Butter Solar Portfolio nearing completion, we are proud to partner with organisations such as Organic Valley and make these valuable solar projects a reality for the local communities.

“As we add more renewable energy to the power grid every day, we are committed to creating a more sustainable environment for generations to come.”

Last month, Organic Valley launched a new ‘Ultra’ line for the production of ultra-filtered organic milk, which is said to have 50% more organic protein and 50% less sugar than regular milk.

Organic Valley represents nearly 2,000 farmers in 34 US states and has over US$1.1 billion in sales.