USA: Renewable Energy Merck Enters into Virtual Power Purchase Agreement with Enel Green Power

Editor: Ahlam Rais

Merck’s Life Science business has signed a 12-year renewable energy contract with Enel Green Power to build a wind and storage project in Texas, USA. The project – Azure Sky wind and storage project is claimed to be one of the largest aggregation deals in the world.

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Merck’s Life Science site in Burlington, USA.
Merck’s Life Science site in Burlington, USA.
(Source: Merck, Darmstadt, Germany)

Darmstadt/Germany – As part of its ongoing commitment to renewable energy, Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, recently announced that its Life Science business has signed a 12-year, off-site, virtual power purchase agreement with Enel Green Power for the construction of a future wind and storage project in Texas, USA.

“Now more than ever, it is critical for companies to evaluate their operations and take action towards becoming more environmentally sustainable,” said Chris Ross, interim sector head, Life Science, and U.S. country speaker at Merck, Darmstadt, Germany. “This project supports our commitment to be climate neutral by 2040, complementing our energy and emissions reduction initiatives. Our involvement in the Azure Sky wind and storage project firmly moves us closer towards achieving this ambitious goal, outlined in our sustainability strategy.”

Taking on 68 MW of the Azure Sky wind and storage project’s 350 MW of capacity, paired with a 137 MW battery, the Life Science business is an anchor buyer within the Net Zero Consortium for Buyers. This aggregation of corporations was organized by the Sustainability Roundtable, which brings companies together to approach the renewable energy market with an aggregated renewable energy need, thus providing access to VPPA's which were previously only accessible to companies with outsized energy needs.

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The agreement – which is among the largest aggregation deals in the world – will deliver Renewable Energy Certificates to match 65 % of the U.S. electricity consumption of the businesses of Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, or 100 % of the Life Science business’ U.S. electricity consumption.

The Azure Sky wind and storage project will be located west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Throckmorton County, Texas, USA. The Life Science business’ portion of the project is equivalent to approximately 14 wind turbines that stand nearly 600 feet tall. The project is expected to be operational by the first half of 2022.

“The commitment of the Life Science business of Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, as an anchor buyer of the aggregation deal is contributing towards an extraordinary shift in the renewable energy purchasing market, giving businesses with all sizes of energy demand the opportunity to procure renewable energy in a cost-effective way,” said Georgios Papadimitriou, head of Enel Green Power in the United States and Canada. “We thank Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, for its collaborative role in this agreement.”

Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, has a long history of investing in renewable energy. Since 2009, the company has installed a combined 2.28 MW of onsite solar at several of its Life Science business sites around the globe, including Jigani, and Peenya, India; Bedford, and Burlington, Massachusetts; St. Louis, Missouri; and Molsheim, France. The company has also installed solar at its Healthcare business sites in Aubonne, Switzerland; Billerica, Massachusetts; and Rome, Italy, as well as at its Electronics sites in Khopoli, India; Poseung, South Korea; Shanghai, China; and Shizuoka, Japan. The company is also celebrating the five-year anniversary of its 5.9 MW biomass central heat plan at its Life Science business site in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, which uses renewable woodchips for 100 % of the manufacturing plant’s heating needs.

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