You may associate beer and power with motorsports or athletic spectator events but now there’s a new partnership brewing in Oklahoma.
St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch and Enel Green Power announced Wednesday that the companies signed a power purchase agreement for energy produced by a portion of EGP’s Thunder Ranch wind farm located in Garfield, Kay and Noble counties.
The Thunder Ranch wind farm is expected to become operational by the end of 2017. Thunder Ranch has two phases totaling 298 MW of capacity. The Anheuser-Busch/EGP project will support employment in the renewables sector by creating around 400 temporary jobs at the peak of construction. Once fully operational, Thunder Ranch will be able to generate more than 1,100 GWh each year, which is equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed annually by approximately 89,400 U.S. households. The overall investment in Thunder Ranch amounts to approximately $435 million, according to a joint press release.
The wind energy partnership between EGP and Anheuser-Busch is the beer company’s first contracted utility-scale project to start operations in the world. The partnership marks a vital step in meeting the company’s global commitment to secure 100% of purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
“As we strive to bring people together to build a better world, we at Anheuser-Busch are dedicated to reducing our carbon emissions,” said João Castro Neves, president and CEO of Anheuser-Busch. “Helping to grow the renewable energy market is not only good for the environment, it is a strategic business move as we strive for long-term sustainability. Now more than ever, we are excited to lead our company’s global effort toward a renewable future and, partnering with Enel, set an industry example of how major companies can help to make a difference in climate change.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Anheuser-Busch, a company, which like the Enel Group, is taking great strides to help tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges,” said Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power. “Power Purchase Agreements are an attractive model that provide not only an avenue for growth, but also revenue certainty through stable pricing. This agreement is another important milestone for our company in the U.S. and globally, once again underscoring Enel Green Power’s position as the partner of choice for corporate customers, as we help them achieve their sustainability targets by providing customized renewable energy solutions, leveraging our industry-leading cost model and technology expertise.”
Anheuser-Busch will purchase the electricity output from EGP via delivery to the grid by a 152.5 MW portion of wind farm. This renewable energy output is capable of meeting up to 50% of Anheuser-Busch’s total annual purchased electricity, according to the press release.
The energy generated by the Thunder Ranch facility under the PPA is enough to power 50,000 U.S. households and is expected to reduce emissions by more than 400,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, equivalent to taking more than 85,000 U.S. vehicles off the road every year.
“We are proud to see Anheuser-Busch’s continued commitment and investment in Oklahoma through their partnership with Enel Green Power on Thunder Ranch, a new wind farm in Garfield, Kay and Noble counties,” said Lisette Barnes, president of the Oklahoma Beer Alliance. “This renewable energy project is the first of its kind for the Oklahoma Beer Alliance member, and will help Anheuser-Busch meet its goal to achieve 100% of purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025. As Oklahoma brewers and beer distributors, our commitment is to the communities where we live and work. We are proud of Anheuser-Busch’s involvement and support of Oklahoma communities through the Thunder Ranch renewable energy project.”