Enel Green Power and brewer Anheuser-Busch have signed a power purchase agreement for the energy produced by a portion of the Thunder Ranch wind farm in Oklahoma.
Anheuser-Busch will purchase enough renewable electricity (from 152.5 MW of wind power) to brew more than 20 billion 12 oz. servings of beer each year. The renewable energy generated by Thunder Ranch under the PPA, once the wind farm is operational at the end of 2017, will be able to supply up to 50 percent of Anheuser-Busch’s total purchased electricity in one year, from a current amount of less than 2 percent, thereby significantly reducing the company’s overall emissions from its operations. The agreement represents the beer company’s first contracted utility-scale project, a leading component of parent company AB InBev’s global commitment to achieve 100 percent of purchased electricity from renewables 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.”
Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power, added that Anheuser-Busch is taking great strides to help tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges and that PPAs are an attractive model that provide not only an avenue for growth, but also revenue certainty through stable pricing.
Anheuser-Busch expects the output from Thunder Ranch to increase 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 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 US 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 US vehicles off the road every year.
Thunder Ranch is located in Garfield, Kay and Noble counties, Oklahoma. It consists of two phases totalling 298 MW of capacity. This in turn 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 US households. The overall investment in Thunder Ranch amounts to approximately 435 million US dollars, which is part of the investment outlined in Enel’s current strategic plan.
In March, AB InBev announced its commitment to secure 100 percent of the company’s purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025. This transition will shift 6 terawatt-hours of electricity annually to renewable sources in the markets where AB InBev operates, transforming the energy industry in countries such as Argentina, Brazil and India, and markets across the African continent.
Through this transition, the company will be able to reduce its operational carbon footprint by 30 percent (the equivalent of removing nearly 500,000 cars from the road globally each year) and become the world’s largest purchaser of renewable energy in the consumer packaged goods sector. The company has also joined RE100, a global coalition of influential corporations that are all committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity.
AB InBev kicked off this global transformation in Mexico by signing a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with energy company Iberdrola for 490 gigawatt-hours per year, increasing the country’s wind energy capacity. AB InBev will continue to enter into similar PPAs across other global markets where it operates, demonstrating that businesses can have a positive impact on the world by switching to renewable electricity.