Developer Lincoln Clean Energy has closed a long-term 60MW wind power off-take deal with US food manufacturer JM Smucker, the third completed this year involving a project in Nebraska, which is emerging as a new industry growth market.
With the transaction, US corporate and industrial (C&I) wind power purchase agreements now total about 2GW thus far this year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) data.
A growing number of Fortune 500 and mid-size American companies are contracting wind power for cost, environmental and sustainability reasons, with the C&I market the fastest growing for project developers.
Chicago-based Lincoln did not release financial terms of the deal. Deliveries of electricity will begin in 2020 when the 230MW Plum Creek project in northeastern Nebraska begins commercial operation.
According to Smucker, the 60MW of capacity is equivalent to 50% of the electric power the company utilizes in its manufacturing operations. In 2017, electricity accounted for more than half of its greenhouse gas emissions.
In the first quarter, Adobe Systems and Facebook announced PPAs for 10MW and 118.15MW, respectively, with Tradewind Energy’s (subsequently sold to Enel Green Power) 320MW Rattlesnake wind project under construction in Nebraska.
Adobe’s contract will expire in 2028, after which time Facebook will purchase the full capacity at Rattlesnake.
Plum Creek is Chicago-based Lincoln’s first project in Nebraska, having focused mainly on Texas, where it did corporate wind power off-take deals last year with Amazon, Iron Mountain and Merrill Lynch Bank of America.
AWEA data shows that on 30 June there were more than 1.4GW of wind projects under construction or in advanced development in Nebraska, equivalent to the amount of capacity installed in the previous two decades.