Recurrent Energy, LLC ("Recurrent"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc. ("Canadian Solar") (CSIQ), announced that it has signed an aggregated virtual power purchase agreement with EMD Electronics, Biogen Inc., Wayfair Inc., Autodesk, Inc. and a large healthcare company for 100% of the production capacity of the Liberty Solar project. Recurrent Energy is currently developing the 100 MWac solar project in Liberty County, Texas, around 50 miles from Houston. The project is expected to be operational in 2024.
Liberty Solar will expand solar energy capacity in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region, which includes most of Liberty County where Liberty Solar is located. Solar energy currently makes up only 1% of the resource mix in MISO. Liberty Solar will produce enough energy to power approximately 15,000 homes annually.
Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar said, "Recurrent Energy is pleased to advance one of the largest peer-buyer organized corporate virtual power purchase agreements with this consortium of customers. We appreciate Sustainability Roundtable Inc. for bringing these five companies together to help enable Recurrent Energy's 100 MWac Liberty Solar project with 16-year contracts. This agreement will serve as a model for corporate procurement, further expanding the number of companies with robust credit ratings to make more renewable energy projects possible."
EMD Electronics, the U.S. and Canada electronics business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will purchase renewable energy generated by a 40 MW portion of Liberty Solar, serving as the anchor buyer of the project. Once operational, Liberty Solar will help achieve Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's goal to match 80% of the globally purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and become climate neutral by 2040.
Kai Beckmann, Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and CEO Electronics, said, "We have set ambitious goals and want to do our part to enable more sustainable supply chains worldwide. In addition to matching our electricity consumption with renewable energy, our research and development work can support our customers on their path to greater sustainability. With these milestones, we are able to support the fast-growing semiconductor industry with sustainable business practices. This new solar project in Texas is just one example of our efforts. We are continuing to actively pursue renewable energy, and not only in the United States."
Biogen Inc. (BIIB), a leading global biotechnology company, will purchase renewable energy generated by a 20 MW portion of Liberty Solar as part of its commitment to 100% renewable electricity, which Biogen has maintained since 2014. In 2020, Biogen announced targets for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and its long-term vision by addressing fossil fuel emissions in its operations.
Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W), one of the world's largest destinations for the home, will purchase renewable energy generated by a 15 MW portion of Liberty Solar. Once the project is online, Wayfair's portion is expected to produce 37,000 MWh, equivalent to approximately 64% of the company's 2022 electricity demand in North America.
Maggie Finnegan, Head of Product Sustainability & Climate for Wayfair, said, "Following our public commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we are pleased to follow up with our first virtual power purchase agreement. This solar development will support our long-term goal to reduce emissions across our value chain. Our portion of this project is expected to produce enough renewable electricity to power more than 3,500 average U.S. homes per year."
Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK), a global leader in design and make technology, will purchase renewable energy generated by a 10 MW portion of Liberty Solar to advance a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable world.
Debbie Clifford, Autodesk's Chief Financial Officer, said, "Autodesk is committed to advancing a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable world, and we're proud to join these companies in catalyzing the development of a new solar energy plant through our first virtual power purchase agreement."
A large healthcare company will purchase renewable energy generated from the remaining 15 MW portion of Liberty Solar. The five companies were organized and supported by Sustainability Roundtable Inc.'s Net Zero Consortium for Buyers, the leading platform for corporate aggregated procurement of large-scale renewable energy in the U.S. and Europe.