Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer recently signed a renewable energy power purchase agreement with developer Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions for a utility-scale solar project that will help the retailer reach its previously announced goal of reducing absolute carbon emissions by 50% by 2025.
As part of the agreement, Meijer will purchase a portion of all energy generated by the project for the first 15 years of operation. The project recently broke ground in Navarro County, Texas, on 1,800 acres of land and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Meijer said in a statement.
"At Meijer, we are motivated to make an impact in the local communities we serve, and beyond, by doing our part and taking the necessary steps to reduce carbon emissions," Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said in a statement. "Meijer has made significant progress over the years to integrate sustainability into our daily operations. We're committed to these ongoing efforts and a project like this brings us closer to our industry leading sustainability goals."
The company said that on a yearly basis, the Pisgah Ridge Solar project will generate approximately 200,000 megawatt hours of energy for the first year dedicated to Meijer. This clean energy will account for a reduction of more than 103,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from its operations, Meijer said.
"We're proud to be part of this project to enable energy creation through a renewable energy source," said Erik Petrovskis, director of environmental compliance and sustainability for Meijer. "We believe we have a responsibility to improve the world around us because it's the right thing to do."
Schneider Electric supported Meijer in the selection of and negotiations for the solar project.
"As one of the largest Midwest supermarket chains, Meijer has made commitments to reduce their carbon emissions by 2025, and it is an honor for Schneider Electric to advise them on adding renewable energy to their portfolio," said Steve Wilhite, president of Schneider Electric's sustainability business. "The need for organizations to take immediate action to decarbonize is at an all-time high, and we are excited to see organizations like Meijer leading the charge to include renewable energy as a part of their long-term strategy."
Meijer, which is privately-owned and family-operated, operates 258 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.