ST. PAUL, Minn. – Dec. 18, 2018 – Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources, has signed an agreement to support Clearway Energy Group’s 418 megawatt (MW) wind farm, Mesquite Star, in Fisher County, Texas. Construction of the Mesquite Star wind farm is scheduled to begin in early 2019.
Through a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) – Ecolab’s first – the company will support construction of 100 MW of new renewable electricity capacity within the Mesquite Star wind farm. Under the VPPA, Ecolab will pay a fixed price per MW hour generated during the agreement to help enable Clearway to obtain the needed financing to construct the renewable energy facility. The electricity from the wind farm is then sold on the energy grid, and Ecolab will receive proceeds from electricity sales and renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset its own energy use.
The renewable electricity generated under Ecolab’s 100 MW VPPA is expected to cover 100 percent of the company’s annual domestic energy use and builds upon the 5 MW of community solar subscriptions in Minnesota that Ecolab signed with Clearway in 2015.
“We continually work to improve the sustainability footprint of our customers’ and our own operations, and the renewable electricity generated from the Mesquite Star wind farm will help us significantly exceed our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent by 2020,” said Emilio Tenuta, vice president of Corporate Sustainability, Ecolab. “Through this agreement, we’ll reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent versus a 2015 baseline.”
Mesquite Star is one of more than 60 utility-scale wind and solar projects that Clearway is developing in the U.S. to help utility and corporate purchasers achieve renewable energy goals. Clearway’s footprint of renewable energy projects, including assets owned through affiliate Clearway Energy, Inc., totals 4.1 gigawatts (GW), including 2.8 GW of wind, 1.1 GW of utility solar and more than 300 MW of distributed and community solar.
“We are proud to have Ecolab as a partner on the Mesquite Star wind farm,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway Energy Group. “Our work together is a testament to the power and potential of aggregation, and one of many ways that Clearway is consistently building out projects in our 8.9 GW pipeline of utility solar and wind projects.”
Ecolab’s VPPA agreement with Clearway is part of a broader trend among corporate buyers. In the past year alone, VPPA contracts for 5 GW of renewable energy have been signed in the United States.