Pharmaceutical company Merck, known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, is advancing its clean energy goals through a new wind agreement with Invenergy.
Invenergy has inked a 60 MW virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) from its Santa Rita East wind farm, located approximately 70 miles west of San Angelo, Texas. Invenergy also recently announced a deal with Grupo Bimbo for the Santa Rita East project.
This VPPA significantly advances Merck’s progress toward achieving its 2025 goal to have more than 50% of the company’s purchased electricity come from renewable sources. The company aims to have 100% of its purchased electricity come from renewable sources by 2040.
“We have a responsibility to use our resources wisely as we drive innovation in global health care while protecting and preserving the planet and our communities,” says Danielle Menture, Merck’s vice president of global safety and environment. “Our sustainability goals address the rising expectations of our stakeholders about the environmental impacts of our operations, energy use, supply chain and packaging.”
To achieve the company’s renewable energy goals, Merck employs a strategy that includes a variety of levers, such as VPPAs, third-party green power and on-site installations. This VPPA represents approximately 60 MW of new wind power delivered to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas market. It will also enable the development of a new wind asset and reduce Merck’s greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 100,000 metric tons per year over the life of the 12-year agreement.
Since 2015, Invenergy has partnered with more than 10 corporate customers to develop over 1.1 GW of new renewable energy capacity.
The Santa Rita East wind farm is expected to come online in 2019. It will create up to 300 jobs during construction and 12-15 permanent jobs once operational. Merck’s global renewable energy advisor, Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services, conducted a competitive project solicitation for Merck and supported financial analysis to ensure the project’s long-term success. Merck also collaborated with the Business Renewables Center, an initiative of the Rocky Mountain Institute, which is a member-based platform that streamlines and accelerates corporate purchasing of off-site, large-scale wind and solar energy.