Nike signed a virtual PPA with Avangrid Renewables for 86 megawatts of wind power from Texas, enabling the company to source 100% renewable energy in North America. The deal calls for power from the Karankawa Wind Farm being constructed near Corpus Christi, Texas, which is scheduled to go online in mid-2019.
This is Nike’s second major contract with Portland, Oregon-based Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of the diversified energy and utility company Avangrid, Inc. In 2016, Nike secured 100% of the energy for its worldwide headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, through an Avangrid Renewables deal involving three wind farms in the Columbia Gorge, CleanTechnica reported. That deal also helped power nearly all of the company’s facilities in Oregon.
The new PPA will cover the remaining portion of Avangrid Renewables 286-megawatt Karankawa Wind Farm in Bee and San Patricio counties east of Mathis, Texas, along I-37, Avangrid Renewables noted in a press release. “Previously Austin Energy announced its own Karankawa-related PPA with Avangrid Renewables for 200 megawatts.”
Besides reaching 100% renewables in North America, the PPA will help Nike deliver on more than 50% of its commitment to source 100% renewable energy in their owned or operated facilities worldwide by the end of FY25, Nike’s chief sustainability officer and VP, innovation accelerator Hannah Jones said in the announcement.
Nike is a member of the RE100 global initiative, which surpassed 100 member companies last year. Wind power has been a popular option among members. In May 2017, a 258-megawatt wind farm helped LEGO reach its 100% renewable energy three years early. Microsoft has been on a roll, signing PPAs late last year for wind power in the Netherlands and in Ireland.
As major companies like Nike pursue 100% renewable energy plans, several key challenges remain, especially in the United States. A David Gardiner and Associates report from 2017 found that global manufacturers with operations in the country faced legal and policy barriers in some states.
Transmission is also problematic. This month a report from the Wind Energy Foundation found that transportation planners haven’t been accounting for growing corporate demand when planning future projects. Companies like GM are working to change the status quo by going beyond PPAs to mechanisms like green tariffs as well as collaborating with regional transmission operators.
Mark your calendars: The 3rd Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 15 – 17, 2018 in Denver. Learn more here.