Target, one of the leading and largest retailers in the U.S., is expanding its investment in renewable energy and sustainable operations.
The company recently signed a long-term contract for 100 megawatts (MW) of new electricity generation capacity from the Solomon Forks wind farm in Kansas — enough energy to meet the average power needs of 150 stores or 50,000 homes.
The project will help Target expand its use of clean energy and meet its corporate responsibility goals. Renewable Choice Energy, part of Schneider Electric’s Energy & Sustainability Services business, worked with the retail giant to identify and evaluate options, and arrange the deal.
Target has already installed solar rooftop panels at 350 of its stores and distribution centers. The objective is to reach the 500 mark and supplement the program with offsite renewables.
The latest project is supported by a power purchase agreement (PPA) between Target and Infinity Renewables, the developer of Solomon Forks wind farm. PPAs allow companies such as Target to acquire the benefits of renewable generation without having to finance, install and maintain the necessary equipment and systems. These arrangements also provide a stable price for power over the length of the contract.
“Social and environmental responsibility is an expectation of customers, investors, and employees, especially in the retail world,” said Steve Wilhite, senior vice president of Energy & Sustainability Services at Schneider Electric. “But sustainability and renewable energy are not just about reducing carbon footprints. With the right opportunities and resources, they’re an engine for profitability.”
Construction of the Solomon Forks wind farm is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018. Wind power is among the cleanest available sources of renewable energy, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.