Bloomberg, Ørsted Sign 80 MW Solar Power Purchase Agreement

Ørsted solar farm

(Credit: Ørsted)

by | Jan 23, 2024

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Ørsted has entered a power purchase agreement with Bloomberg for 80 megawatts of renewable energy from its Mockingbird Solar Center, the company’s largest solar project in the United States, which is currently under construction in Paris, Texas.

The Mockingbird project has now reached a fully contracted status as the agreement follows additional purchases from Covestro and Royal DSM. The 471 MW project adds to Ørsted’s 12 wind, solar, and storage projects in Texas, representing over $3 billion in investment in the state.

Bloomberg’s commitment with the 15-year PPA will add to its current renewables portfolio, which in 2022 represented nearly 55% of its overall purchased energy. The new purchase will bring the company to 100% renewable energy-sourced electricity for its U.S. operations and to 80% for the company’s global electricity usage.

Bloomberg is a member of RE100, a corporate initiative for businesses to commit to sourcing 100% of electricity from renewable energy, and Bloomberg aims to meet this net-zero target by 2025.

Ørsted Incorporates Conservation Efforts Into Mockingbird Project

Development of the Mockingbird Solar Center includes a partnership between Ørsted and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in order to preserve close to 1,000 acres of native tallgrass prairie near the project. The company plans to donate its purchase of the Smiley-Woodfin National Prairie Grassland to TNC once the solar project is operational.

The project will be the company’s first biodiversity initiative in the U.S. and reportedly the largest preservation effort for the given type of native prairie. Tallgrass prairies provide numerous benefits including flood prevention, water filtration, and natural habitats for a wide range of pollinators, but less than 1% of Texas’ original tallgrass prairie lands remain today. Along with donating the land for preservation, Ørsted has received guidance from TNC during construction of the project to minimize development impact on the land used for solar panel installation.

While renewable energy projects are a key piece in global decarbonization strategies, they may contribute to habitat loss, land damage, and wildlife destruction if not carried out without consideration of adjacent ecosystems. In response, Ørsted has committed to a net-positive biodiversity impact for all of its renewable energy projects commissioned from 2030 onward.

“Ørsted’s commitment to the responsible development of clean energy at Mockingbird Solar Center demonstrates that conservation and clean energy can coexist,” said Monica Testa, head of origination for the Americas at Ørsted. “We’re proud to partner with Bloomberg in support of their sustainability goals and thrilled to see companies continue to prioritize the responsible development of clean energy in line with nature.”

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