General Mills has taken one of the biggest steps thus far toward its climate goal by signing a virtual 15-year power purchase agreement with Roaring Fork Wind, LLC, a joint venture partnership between RES (Renewable Energy Systems) and Steelhead Americas. The agreements is for 200 megawatts of its Maverick Creek wind project.
The wind project, located in central Texas, will produce renewable energy credits for General Mills that, together with the company's previous wind power agreement, are calculated to equal 100 percent of the electricity used annually at the company's domestic facilities. During the peak of construction, the project is anticipated to create approximately 175 jobs in the clean energy workforce.
"General Mills began its milling operations more than 150 years ago with water power from the banks of the Mississippi River," said John Church, chief supply chain officer and global business solutions officer at General Mills. "By learning from history, and tying back to our clean power roots, the equivalent of our domestic facilities' annual electricity needs will be covered by clean wind power, helping to reach our climate commitment of decreasing our carbon footprint by 28 percent by 2025."
Maverick Creek is just 10 miles from Cactus Flats, the wind project in General Mills' first wind energy purchase agreement. The project 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 24,899 MW of installed capacity in that state alone.
General Mills' commitment to purchase green power from Roaring Fork will help to finance the construction of the Maverick Creek wind project being developed in Concho County, Texas by RES and Steelhead Americas. The U.S. wind industry employs 102,500 workers across 50 states. That figure continues to rise annually, with the number of people employed by wind expected to top 248,000 by 2020. According to Navigant Consulting, the wind industry is expected to deliver over $85 billion in economic activity during the same period.