The Hershey Company announced two new sustainable energy alliances to build solar projects in the United States as the company transitions its operations to use clean and renewable energy.
Hershey has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the first plant, which will be located in Camden, North Carolina, which will allow the financing and development of the company’s first utility-scale solar farm. BayWa r.e., a global renewable energy developer, is developing the farm. On 218 acres of land, this solar project will be a 20 megawatt (MW-AC) plant. When completed, the North Carolina project will reduce CO2 emissions by 32,025 metric tonnes per year, which is the equivalent of traveling more than 80 million miles in an average passenger car or charging nearly 3.9 billion smartphones. The new solar farm is scheduled to be completed in late July.
Furthermore, Hershey has entered into a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with National Grid Renewables for 50 megawatts (MWac) of the previously announced Noble Project (Noble), which is currently under construction in Denton County, Texas. Hershey’s solar contract would generate an estimated 118,000-megawatt-hour each year, resulting in a reduction of approximately 83,625 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, which is equivalent to traveling 210 million miles in an average passenger car or charging more than 10 billion smartphones.
Hershey is one of the businesses participating in the Noble Project, which is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 450,000 metric tonnes per year over the first 20 years of operation. Together, the two solar projects will produce substantial renewable energy in North Carolina and Texas while also reducing Hershey’s CO2 footprint by 115,650 metric tonnes per year.
The projects complement the company’s recently announced science-based goals commitments to minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions following the Paris Climate Agreement’s global best practice of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Renewable energy investments and energy conservation programs are a primary priority area for Hershey to meet the company’s target of reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions by more than half by 2030.
Edison Energy, a sustainability and energy management consulting firm, advised Hershey on its environmental initiatives and the selection of solar developers BayWa r.e. and National Grid Renewables.