Bayer Unveils Solar Installations in California, New Jersey

Bayer's new solar installation in Woodland, California

(Credit: Business Wire)

by | Jan 25, 2024

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Bayer has installed new solar energy farms at its vegetable research and development site in Woodland, California, and its main offices in Whippany, New Jersey, that will help the company with its carbon reduction strategies as well as advance sustainable agriculture.

The California installation includes a 2.7 megawatt solar and 2 megawatt-hour energy storage system that will reportedly provide 70% of the site’s electrical energy demand. As California experiences increasing grid disruptions and blackouts, Bayer explains that the solar-plus-storage system may help increase the company’s energy and operational resilience while reducing its emissions impact.

The solar project also includes plantings of cover crops between rows of panels, meant to benefit pollinator populations and soils. The solar panels, developed by Enel North America, are expected to operate for 30 years.

“This project is a great example of Bayer’s commitment to achieve a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030,” said Staci Rosenberger, Woodland and San Juan Bautista site operations lead at Bayer. “With this investment, we will reduce our impact on the environment and offset electrical usage during peak demand, benefiting not only our company but surrounding communities as well.”

In New Jersey, the 1.7 MW ground mount solar installation is expected to offset about 25% of the site’s annual energy usage. The solar project, done in partnership with DSD Renewables, includes 3,600 modules that can move with the sun’s natural path during the day, collecting more solar energy than conventional, south-facing panels.

Bayer said it has been utilizing solar energy for over 20 years since its first solar installation at its consumer health research and development labs in New Jersey. Last year, the company also announced a new renewable energy agreement with Cat Creek Energy.

Bayer Aims for Carbon Neutral Operations and Sustainable Agriculture

Bayer has committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2030 and achieving net-zero waste across its value chain by 2050. Renewable energy purchases such as these are a key element of the company’s emissions reduction strategy.

The company has also incorporated a commitment to a more sustainable agriculture industry as a part of its business. For instance, Bayer recently formed a partnership with Iktos to develop new sustainable crop protection production.

Bayer has also made strides in developing better agricultural practices for rice farming, a sector known for its high methane emissions and water-intense growing methods. Its low-emissions, water-saving direct-seeded rice system was introduced in October of last year, and the company’s partnership with GenZero and Shell will also support training and guidance to help smallholder rice farmers decarbonize.

 

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