Meijer is taking a big step toward its carbon reduction goal by investing in a major wind energy project.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based supercenter retailer said yesterday that it has signed a renewable product purchase agreement (RPPA) to purchase the majority of energy generated by the Lacy Creek Wind Energy Center, a 108-turbine site currently under construction on 60,000 acres in Glasscock and Sterling counties in Texas.
Expected to be completed in late 2022, the project will deliver approximately 800,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually, according to Meijer.
Six months ago, Meijer announced its goal of reducing its absolute carbon emissions 50% by 2025. Two months later, the company jump-started its renewable energy portfolio by entering into a utility-scale solar energy agreement with Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, where the retailer will buy a portion of the energy it generates during its first 15 years of operation. The project, on 1,800 acres in Navarro County, Texas, is also expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“We believe it’s more important now than ever to do our part to better the environment, which is where our ambitious sustainability goal originated. While the Lacy Creek Wind Energy Center is one of multiple sustainability initiatives Meijer has under way, we’re pleased it has contributed to the accelerated progress in meeting our sustainability goal by 2025,” Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said in a statement. “The impact these environmental sustainability initiatives will make in the coming years go beyond improving daily operations at our Meijer stores. They align with our values and our continued focus on being a good steward of the environment.”
Meijer said it’s building on its commitment to the environment by integrating sustainability into daily operations, addressing carbon and waste reduction, recycling, offering local and sustainable products, and driving responsible growth.
“We believe we have a responsibility to improve the world around us because it’s the right thing to do,” commented Erik Petrovskis, director of environmental compliance and sustainability at Meijer. “Our investment in the Lacy Creek Wind Energy Center is essential to ensuring a positive impact on the environment within the communities we serve across the Midwest and beyond.”
Overall, Meijer operates 262 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
Lacy Creek parent NextEra Energy Resources LLC is the world's largest generator of renewable wind and sun energy and a leader in battery storage.
“We are pleased to work with Meijer in alignment with their ambitious sustainability goals,” stated Matt Handel, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, based in Juno Beach, Fla. “This project also creates economic stimulus in Glasscock and Sterling counties in Texas, providing good jobs and additional tax revenue.”
Schneider Electric, a global leader on advising corporate renewable energy procurement, supported Meijer in the solar project.
“It’s an honor to work with Meijer, who is acting urgently to reduce their carbon emissions by 2025,” commented Steve Wilhite, president of Schneider Electric Sustainability Business, based in Louisville, Ky. “It’s impactful to see that one of the largest Midwest supermarket retailers continues to adopt renewable electricity and decarbonize their operations.”