MINNEAPOLIS, June 8, 2017 (PRNewswire) — General Mills has taken another step toward its climate goal with the signing of a virtual 15-year power purchase agreement with Renewable Energy Systems (RES) for 100-megawatts (MW) of its Cactus Flats wind project. The wind project will produce renewable energy credits for General Mills that can be applied toward the company's greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. During the peak of construction, the project will create about 250 jobs in the clean energy workforce.
"As we help mitigate the impacts of climate change, investing in wind energy is the right thing to do," said John Church, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain at General Mills. "This investment is another step towards reducing our energy footprint and achieving sustainable emission levels — in line with scientific consensus — by 2050."
General Mills' investment will help fund the construction of the 150-megawatt Cactus Flats wind project being developed in Concho County, Texas by RES, a leading global renewable energy and energy storage development and construction company. The project's renewable energy credits will enable General Mills to reduce its Scope 2 emissions as part of its target of sustainable emission levels across its global value chain by 2050. In 2016, General Mills reduced the greenhouse gas emissions of its extended value chain by 2 percent versus 2015.
"RES is proud to support General Mills in reducing its energy footprint and reaching its sustainability goals," said Brian Evans, Chief Development Officer, RES in the Americas. "We will continue to work with industry leaders, like General Mills, to deliver clean, reliable power at a competitive price."
The wind energy industry is currently one of the fastest growing segments for job creation, adding jobs 9 times faster than the overall U.S. economy*. According to Navigant Consulting, "the U.S. wind industry will support 865,000 job-years of employment and provide $85 billion in economic impact in 2017-2020"**.
Cactus Flats is located in a particularly favorable wind area in central Texas, which is the leading state in the U.S. for wind energy production with over 20,000 MW of installed capacity***. General Mills worked with Altenex, an Edison Energy company, to ensure the project met its sustainability, performance and economic objectives.
"General Mills' announcement is a significant step," said Cynthia Cummis, WRI's Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation. "It demonstrates their ongoing commitment to achieve their climate goals."
General Mills is listed on the 2016 CDP Climate A-List. For more information on General Mills' ambitious climate commitment, visit its 2017 Global Responsibility Report and Taste of General Mills blog.
*American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) "U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report Year Ending 2016"
**Navigant Consulting's "Economic Development Impacts of Wind Projects: Jobs and Economic Impacts Resulting from U.S. Wind Projects 2017-2020"
About General Mills
General Mills is a leading global food company that serves the world by making food people love. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie's, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Fiber One, Haagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2016 consolidated net sales of US $16.6 billion, as well as another US $1.0 billion from its proportionate share of joint-venture net sales. For more information about General Mills, visit www.generalmills.com.