Anheuser-Busch and Enel Green Power (EGP), the Enel Group’s renewables division, announced today that they have signed a power purchase agreement (PPA), whereby Anheuser-Busch will purchase the energy delivered to the grid and renewable electricity credits from a portion of EGP’s Thunder Ranch wind project in the amount of 152.5 MW.
The wind energy partnership between EGP and Anheuser-Busch will be the beer company’s first contracted utility-scale project to start operations in the world, once the Thunder Ranch wind farm becomes operational, which is expected by the end of 2017. This partnership marks a step in delivering on the global commitment by Anheuser-Busch’s parent company to secure 100% of purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
“As we strive to bring people together to build a better world, we at Anheuser-Busch are dedicated to reducing our carbon emissions,” said João Castro Neves, president and CEO of Anheuser-Busch. “Helping to grow the renewable energy market is not only good for the environment, it is a strategic business move as we strive for long-term sustainability. Now more than ever, we are excited to lead our company’s global effort toward a renewable future and, partnering with Enel, set an industry example of how major companies can help to make a difference in climate change.”
Through a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA),1 EGP will sell to Anheuser-Busch the electricity output delivered to the grid by a 152.5 MW portion of the Thunder Ranch wind farm, substantially boosting the beer company’s acquisition of renewable energy. This output is expected to amount to approximately 610 GWh of renewable energy each year, enough renewable electricity to produce more than 20 billion 12 oz. servings of beer annually. At the same time, this renewable energy output will be capable of meeting up to 50 percent of Anheuser-Busch’s total annual purchased electricity, a substantial increase on the less than 2 percent currently generated by 7.5 MW of solar and wind facilities installed on-site at its major U.S. operations.
The energy generated by the Thunder Ranch facility under the PPA is enough to power 50,000 U.S. households and is expected to reduce emissions by more than 400,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, equivalent to taking more than 85,000 U.S. vehicles off the road every year.
The Thunder Ranch wind farm, located in Garfield, Kay and Noble counties, Oklahoma, is comprised of two phases that total 298 MW of capacity. This project will support employment in the renewables sector by creating around 400 temporary jobs at peak of construction. Once fully operational, Thunder Ranch will be able to generate more than 1,100 GWh each year, which is equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed annually by approximately 89,400 U.S. households. The overall investment in Thunder Ranch amounts to approximately 435 million U.S. dollars, which is part of the investment outlined in Enel’s current strategic plan.
In March, AB InBev announced that it had joined RE100, a collaborative, global initiative of influential businesses committed to sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity. According to RE100, this move will make AB InBev the largest corporate direct purchaser of renewable electricity in the global consumer goods sector, reducing the company’s operational carbon footprint by 30%. Currently, the company obtains about 7% of its purchased electricity from renewable sources.
AB InBev is just one on a growing list of global companies pushing record growth in sustainable energy.