Cargill has signed five deals that expand the global agriculture firm’s contracted renewable energy capacity by 42% as part of its overall goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

The new deals will bring an additional 300 megawatts of wind and solar capacity online, expanding Cargill’s total offsite renewable energy portfolio to 716 megawatts. These contracts are expected to help the company achieve its objective of reducing absolute GHG by 10% by 2025 against a 2017 baseline. Cargill said it already has achieved an emissions reduction of 10.97% as of calendar year 2022.

“Cargill’s commitment to climate action spans our entire business and focuses on feeding a growing global population more sustainably,” said Christina Yagjian, global renewable energy leader for Cargill.

Globally, Cargill’s renewable energy portfolio includes 15 projects online across 12 countries. The portfolio primarily is composed of wind and solar power purchase agreements (PPA) and virtual power purchase agreements (VPPA), or agreements to buy renewable electricity and associated renewable energy credits for a defined period.

Once the five additional contracts are fully operational in 2024, Cargill’s renewable electricity mix is anticipated to reduce its CO2 equivalent emissions by nearly 820,000 tonnes per year, which is the equivalent of removing nearly 200,000 gas-powered vehicles from the road for one year.

“Renewable energy projects are just one of several ways we are weaving sustainable practices into our supply chains and global operations,” Yagjian said. “While Cargill’s greatest opportunity for emissions reductions lies within its global supply chains, reducing emissions from the company’s operations is a critical step in our efforts to decarbonize the food and agriculture industry and supports not only our climate goals, but also those of our customers.”

Highlights of Cargill’s renewable energy portfolio include:

  • Earlier this year, through a renewable electricity buyer consortium, Cargill and Mars executed VPPAs with Ocean Breeze Energy, owner and operator of the Bard Offshore Wind Farm located off the coast of Germany. Over the six-plus-year term of this agreement, Cargill’s portion of this project averages 35 megawatts of capacity and is anticipated to produce 712,000 megawatt hours of clean energy, avoiding greenhouse gas emissions of 442,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent. Sourcing renewable energy in Germany was a priority, given that Cargill has 12 plants in the German market.
  • In Italy, Cargill has a PPA with Galileo Green Energy for 55 megawatts of capacity from a solar photovoltaic project located in the southern part of the country. This agreement is anticipated to deliver 990,000 megawatt hours of electricity, or a total CO2 reduction of 455,000 tonnes over the contract term.
  • Cargill’s contract with Vattenfall for the supply of 78 megawatts of the Windpark Hanze project in the Netherlands will come online this spring. The agreement is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 1.3 million tonnes over the 10-year contract – equivalent to providing renewable electricity for more than 164,000 homes per year.
  • In the United States, Cargill and Blue Cloud Wind Energy, a subsidiary of TC Energy, executed a VPPA for a 130-megawatt share of offtake from a wind farm in Texas. Sourcing renewables in the Southwest Power Pool supports emission reductions where many of Cargill’s US plants are located. Over the 15-year term of this agreement, the total CO2 reduction anticipated for Cargill from this contract is 2.9 million tonnes. This is Cargill’s fourth virtually settled renewable energy contract in the United States.
  • In Brazil, Cargill and Serena Energia entered into a self-production contract for generation from a wind farm in Bahia. This contract is anticipated to supply 263,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year to Cargill manufacturing facilities across the country. Over the 12-year term of this agreement, this project is anticipated to reduce COemissions by approximately 409,000 tonnes.