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United States

US bakers and distillers to run on wind

UNITED STATES: A multinational baking company and a distilled spirits supplier have signed deals to source wind power from projects in Kansas and Texas.

Westar Energy's 201MW Post Rock site in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties in central Kansas
Westar Energy's 201MW Post Rock site in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties in central Kansas

Grupo Bimbo, which sells baked goods in 32 countries, has signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Invenergy for power from its 100MW Santa Rita East project in Texas.

The output from Santa Rita East will offset its US operations, the baked goods company stated.

Invenergy expects to commission the Santa Rita East project, situated about 190 kilometres south-east of Odessa in west Texas later this year.

From the third quarter of 2019, production from the 100MW site will match energy consumption from Grupo Bimbo’s US operations, the company stated.

This will also match 75% of the company’s worldwide energy consumption. Grupo Bimbo aims to use 100% renewable energy for its operations by 2020.

MGP

Meanwhile distiller MGP, which sells bourbon and rye whiskeys, gins, and vodkas, has committed to sourcing 100% of its electricity needs from utility Westar Energy’s wind farms in Kansas.

Under a three-year agreement that started on 1 April, MGP will buy enough power through Westar Energy’s renewable energy credits program to offset its facilities in Atchinson in north-east Kansas and Lawrenceburg in north-east Indiana.

The amount of power the spirits company is buying is "confidential", Westar Energy told Windpower Monthly.

The utility stated that the agreement makes MGP its largest customer to commit to 100% renewable energy. When the initial three-year term expires, the agreement can be renewed, Westar added.

The utility owns nine wind farms with a combined capacity of 1,568MW in the Midwestern state, according to its website.

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