Just six months after announcing its goal to reduce 50 percent of its absolute carbon emissions by 2025 – and four months after entering into a solar energy project – Midwestern retailer Meijer announced recently its involvement in a wind energy center that contributes to its renewable energy portfolio and marks significant strides in meeting its carbon reduction goal.
The retailer signed a renewable product purchase agreement (RPPA) with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, of which Meijer will purchase the majority of energy generated by the project. NextEra Energy Resources is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. The project, named Lacy Creek Wind Energy Center, is under construction on 60,000 acres in Glasscock and Sterling counties, Texas, and is expected to be completed in late 2022. The project will use 108 wind turbines to generate renewable energy.
This investment complements the retailer's recently announced utility-scale, solar project with Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, which both contribute to its renewable energy portfolio. Both projects will begin producing energy by the end of the year, putting the retailer on the right path to achieving its carbon reduction goal by 2025.
"As a company, we believe it's more important now than ever to do our part to better the environment, which is where our ambitious sustainability goal originated. While the Lacy Creek Wind Energy Center is one of multiple sustainability initiatives Meijer has underway, we're pleased it has contributed to the accelerated progress in meeting our sustainability goal by 2025," Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. "The impact these environmental sustainability initiatives will make in the coming years go beyond improving daily operations at our Meijer stores; they align with our values and our continued focus on being a good steward of the environment."
The retailer's efforts will deliver approximately 800,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable electricity annually through the Lacy Creek Wind Energy Center.
"We are pleased to work with Meijer in alignment with their ambitious sustainability goals," said Matt Handel, Senior Vice President of Development for NextEra Energy Resources. "This project also creates economic stimulus in Glasscock and Sterling counties in Texas, providing good jobs and additional tax revenue."
In March 2022, Meijer announced its renewable energy power purchase agreement (VPPA) with developer Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, which states Meijer will purchase a portion of the 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.
In addition to recent partnerships, Meijer continues to build 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 believe we have a responsibility to improve the world around us because it's the right thing to do," said Erik Petrovskis, Director Environmental Compliance and Sustainability at Meijer. "Our investment in the Lacy Creek Wind Energy Center is essential to ensuring a positive impact on the environment within the communities we serve across the Midwest and beyond."
Schneider Electric, the leading global advisor on corporate renewable energy procurement, supported Meijer in the selection of and negotiations for the solar project.
"It's an honor to work with Meijer, who is acting urgently to reduce their carbon emissions by 2025," said Steve Wilhite, President of Schneider Electric Sustainability Business. "It's impactful to see that one of the largest Midwest supermarket retailers continues to adopt renewable electricity and decarbonize their operations."