Kellogg’s Australia has signed a seven-and-a-half-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Beryl Solar Farm to become the latest corporate entity to commit to sourcing the equivalent of 100 per cent of its electricity needs from renewables.
Kellogg’s says the deal with Beryl – already providing part of its output to the NSW government’s northwest metro rail project – will provide the equivalent of 100 per cent of the forecast energy requirements of its manufacturing operation in New South Wales, which will produce 630 million boxes of cereals over that time.
Other food and beverage companies are doing something similar. Brewer CUB expects to reach that 100 per cent target by the end of this year, courtesy of large scale and rooftop solar, and so does Mars Australia. (So breakfast, snacks and beer are now covered. How long before dinner as well).
The Sydney Opera House is also going 100 per cent renewables through similar contracts.
The 87MW (AC) Beryl solar farm is now owned by the listed company New Energy Solar and is located in the central west of NSW, near Gulgong, and the PPA with Kellogg will account for just under 30 per cent of its output. It came on line in April and reached full commissioning within a short time.
Kellogg’s estimates the PPA will displace an estimated 139,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the agreement, equivalent to planting over 2.3 million trees or taking about 30,000 cars off the road over seven years.
“We live in a country that is experiencing firsthand the effects of a changing and unpredictable climate, and, as a business that manufactures in Australia, we have a responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment,” Kellogg’s managing director in Australia and New Zealand Esme Borgelt said in a statement.
“We’re doing that through both continuous improvements in manufacturing to reduce our energy demand and developing innovative partnerships that help increase the available renewable energy in the system.
“Our partnership with the Beryl Solar Farm enables us to champion and support the clean energy revolution, helping to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from both our head office and manufacturing site in Australia, as part of our broader sustainability commitments.”
New Energy Solar CEO John Martin said the deal with Kellogg’s increases the amount of solar production under contract and demonstrates the appetite of Australian corporates for renewable power.
“Solar-generated electricity achieves both cost and environmental goals for Australian companies and their stakeholders,” he said.
Tom Best, the director of Project Management in the Asia Pacific region for First Solar, which built the solar farm, said the attractive economics of a commercial PPA highlighted the fact that the environmental benefits of zero-carbon power generation to corporate customers.
Ernst & Young was Kellogg’s Australia’s lead commercial and financial adviser on the transaction.