Wells Fargo sole off-taker on 58-MW solar project developed by NextEra Energy
Wells Fargo signed a 20-year PPA for a 58 MW solar power project in North Carolina being developed by a subsidiary of NextEra energy sourcesThe banking company will take over the total output of the Blackburn Solar Project, which is planned for a 600 acre plot in Catawba County and will operate under the management of Duke Energy. Green resource benefit program.
The transaction is Wells Fargo’s largest to date and will provide approximately 8% of the company’s annual global electricity
“Developing renewable energy projects near employee and customer centers is one way Wells Fargo is working to achieve our goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions in a way that also contributes to the communities in which we live and work . Investing in solar energy development in North Carolina will support job creation, tax revenues, reduced carbon emissions and grid resilience, ”said Nate Hurst, chief social impact and sustainability at Wells Fargo. “We appreciate partnering with Duke and NextEra to advance our corporate sustainability goals in a way that benefits the local economy.”
The energy provided under the agreement will meet more than 50% of Wells Fargo’s total electricity needs and 100% of eligible loads within the Duke Energy Carolinas service area, where it has a real estate footprint of 7,000. 5 million square feet and employs approximately 36,000 people. The 130,000 MWh it receives annually is generated by approximately 200,000 solar panels.
The facility will be owned and operated by the NextEra subsidiary and is expected to come online in 2022. Wells Fargo will retain the renewable energy (RECs) credits associated with the project.
“While major energy consumers are looking to expand their sustainability goals, many find Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage program to be the perfect solution to make that happen,” said Stephen De May, president of Duke Energy, North Carolina. “The flexibility of the program allows the customer to adapt it to his needs. The state benefits from more renewable energy. “
NextEra is working with community leaders and organizations to ensure the project meets local solar energy requirements. As part of the development, NextEra Energy Resources is negotiating a land grant with the Catawba Lands Conservancy to preserve land along the Catawba River and expand part of the Carolina Thread Trail.
According to the project website, the community’s economic benefits include approximately $ 2.3 million in additional tax revenue for the local community, as well as local employment, including up to 100 jobs to build the project.
“We are delighted to partner with Duke and Wells Fargo to provide more affordable, renewable energy through the Green Source Advantage program,” said Matt Handel, senior VP of development at NextEra Energy Resources. “The Blackburn Solar project will also deliver significant benefits to the economy, creating well-paid construction jobs and generating millions of dollars in additional tax revenue for the local community.”
Wells Fargo has met 100% of its annual global electricity requirements with renewable energy since 2017, mainly through the purchase of RECs, which met the first part of a dual 2020 renewable energy target set in 2016.
The company is now working on the second part of that commitment – to move to a higher mix of long-term renewable energy contracts for projects near the largest charging centers and to expand on-site solar power generation to support development. of new sources of renewable energy. energy. In March, Wells Fargo announced its goal of achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including funded emissions.
“By leveraging our annual energy expenditures to advance green infrastructure development in the US and create new revenue streams for communities, we contribute to more sustainable, equitable and resilient communities,” said Richard Henderson, head of Wells Fargo’s Corporate Properties Group. . “We will continue to explore opportunities to promote environmental and social sustainability through our operations as Wells Fargo pursues its ambitious climate goals.”
News item from NextEra Energy Resources