Ørsted Signs 80MW Power Purchase Agreement with Bloomberg
This agreement brings the Mockingbird project to a fully contracted status for its 471 MW capacity.
January 20, 2024. By News Bureau
Ørsted announced the signing of an 80MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with Bloomberg for renewable energy generated by the Mockingbird Solar Center, a 471 MW project currently under construction near Paris, Texas.
This is Ørsted's largest solar project in the US, as well as the company's first project to incorporate conservation efforts with the protection of native tallgrass prairie. Bloomberg is one of four corporate customers buying power from the Mockingbird Solar Center, including Covestro and Royal DSM. This agreement brings the Mockingbird project to a fully contracted status for its 471 MW capacity.
"We look forward to partnering with Ørsted on the purchase of renewable energy to progress our RE100 target while also meaningfully contributing to conservation efforts," said Dave Wildman, Global Head Facilities, Sustainability Ops, MEP Infrastructure at Bloomberg.
One of the unique features of the Mockingbird Solar Center is the agreement between Ørsted and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to preserve nearly 1,000 acres of rare, native tallgrass prairie adjacent to the project. Ørsted has purchased over half of the Smiley-Woodfin National Prairie Grassland and will donate the land to The Nature Conservancy once the project reaches operation.
"Ørsted's commitment to the responsible development of clean energy at Mockingbird Solar Center demonstrates that conservation and clean energy can coexist," said Monica Testa, Head of Origination, Americas at Ørsted. "We're proud to partner with Bloomberg in support of their sustainability goals and thrilled to see companies continue to prioritize the responsible development of clean energy in line with nature."
This conservation program is particularly impactful as less than one percent of the original tallgrass prairies of Texas survive today, and less than five percent remains nationally. The Ørsted-TNC effort will be the largest preservation effort on record for this type of native prairie and was Ørsted's first biodiversity initiative in the US.
Additionally, the Mockingbird Solar Center has boosted the local economy and will provide long-term revenue for the local school districts and county. The project has created 500 jobs during peak construction and is estimated to inject USD 215 million into the local economy over the life of the project.
This project builds on Ørsted's existing footprint in Texas, which includes 12 wind, solar, and storage projects in operation or under construction across the state, a more than USD 3 billion investment in the Lone Star State.
This agreement is a major step towards advancing Bloomberg's climate commitments to reduce the company's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with a 1.5°C future, which include both near and long-term science-based emissions reduction targets validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and a RE100 commitment to obtain 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
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