Global apparel company Gap Inc. recently announced that it signed a 90 Megawatt (MW) virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for the Aurora Wind Project with Enel Green Power North America, marking one of the largest offsite renewable energy contracts by an apparel retailer. The 12-year agreement is Gap Inc.’s latest renewable energy deal and will enable the company to reach its 2020 goal to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for its owned and operated facilities by 50% compared to 2015. The company also announced it has set a goal to reach 100% renewable energy across its global owned and operated facilities by 2030.
Gap Inc. operates more than 3,300 stores worldwide, however the vast majority of its distributed store fleet are leased sites located in buildings and malls owned by landlords, limiting the company’s ability to implement onsite renewable energy assets. The agreement with Enel Green Power allows Gap Inc. to meet its renewable energy goal by aggregating its distributed electricity load in the US and purchasing wind energy equivalent to the energy needs of more than 1,500 retail stores in its global real estate portfolio. The agreement provides benefits both to the local grid by adding new clean generation, while also stabilizing operating costs for Gap Inc. in the face of fluctuating energy prices.
The wind electricity output purchased by Gap Inc. from the 90 MW portion of Enel Green Power’s 299 MW Aurora project is expected to total approximately 374 gigawatt hours (GWh) each year.
Gap Inc. was advised on this VPPA by Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services, who assisted the company in its project selection and negotiations.
Enel Green Power North America will build, own, and operate the Aurora Wind Project located in Williams and Mountrail counties in North Dakota. Once completed, the total project will be able to generate approximately 1.3 terawatt-hour (TWh) annually, while avoiding the emissions of around 880,000 tons of CO2 per year. The project is expected to enter operation by the end of 2020.