What do you think about when someone mentions mitigating climate change? Cars? Planes? Semi-trucks? Heating and cooling are another big one, as is agriculture. But, most people don’t think about chocolate. But, everything has an environmental cost, and anything that we can cut it back on helps. Yes, even for chocolate.
That’s why a recent deal between Hershey and National Grid Renewables is so exciting, and it isn’t the first time they’ve done it.
A few days ago, to commemorate the construction commencement of its Copperhead Solar & Storage Project, 150 megawatt (MW) solar and 100 MWh megawatt hour (MWh) storage project in Falls County, Texas, National Grid Renewables gathered with its fellow project partners and landowners.
During the groundbreaking event, they also announced a 140 megawatt (MW) Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with The Hershey Company for Copperhead. This is the second PPA between The Hershey Company and National Grid Renewables after The Hershey Company’s Noble solar PPA was announced in 2021. Edison Energy worked advisedly on environmental sustainability initiatives as well as selections of renewable energy resources like National Grid Renewables’ Copperhead.
“Together with customers like The Hershey Company, National Grid Renewables is helping to build a clean, fair and affordable energy future,” stated Blake Nixon, President for National Grid Renewables. “Projects like Copperhead promote sustainability and economic vitality at both global and local levels. Communities like those in the Falls County, Texas area can anticipate economic benefits for years to come as a result of welcoming renewable energy projects. With Copperhead, our commitment to the state of Texas and the ERCOT market remains strong, and we look forward to bringing this project to commercial operation to benefit local and statewide residents.”
Copperhead is projected to produce an estimated $25 million in direct economic impact throughout its first 25 years of operation, including the production of new tax revenue and onsite operations jobs. Additionally, a charitable fund is expected to be created with an estimated value of $600,000. Using the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, it is estimated that carbon dioxide emissions will be offset by 250,000 metric tons annually.
According to its recent ESG Report, Hershey is making considerable progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and is on track to meet its targets. Its Scope 1 and 2 emissions are 48% lower than they were in 2018, while Scope 3 emissions have fallen by 18%. This progress is largely due to Hershey’s investments in three solar farm projects — two of which are through National Grid Renewables.
Copperhead will utilize next-generation Series 6 thin film solar modules developed and produced by First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), a 100 MWh megawatt hour (MWh) Fluence Gridstack™ battery energy storage system by Fluence Energy, Inc., and is being constructed by TIC—The Industrial Company, a subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation that specializes in engineering, procurement and construction contracting.
“As America’s solar company, we are proud that Copperhead will be powered by our responsibly produced, ultra-low carbon photovoltaic solar technology, designed and developed here in the United States,” said Darin Green, senior director, Business Development, First Solar. “Our thin film solar technology has the lowest carbon and water footprint of any commercially available PV technology today, while our integrated manufacturing process and tightly controlled supply chain allow for industry-leading transparency and traceability.”
Featured image provided by National Grid Renewables.
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