Pharmaceutical and biotechnology product provider Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. today announced it signed a long-term solar energy contract with Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions. Accordingly, the agreement stands for a 15-year deal for the purchase of 102MW.
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Indeed, this deal will look to address the entirety of the company’s North American electric power requirements with clean, renewable energy by 2023.
About the VPPA
Currently, Charles River provides pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies, and leading academic institutions with services. Particularly, the Company helps those actors accelerate their research and drug development efforts.
Therefore, Charles River’s portion of the 250 MW Pisgah Ridge Solar project, which is located in Navarro County, Texas, is part of the company’s strategy towards achieving 100% renewable electricity globally by 2030.
In this regard, James C. Foster, Chairman, the company’s President, and Chief Executive Officer commented in a statement; “We have a responsibility to reduce our climate impact. Therefore, I am proud to strategically commit to clean energy, which markedly impacts our ability to reduce GHG emissions.”
Similarly, Gregg Belardo, Senior Director of EHS & Sustainability, said; Indeed, “since 2018, Charles River has reduced our global GHG emissions by 26% through the procurement of renewable energy agreements at the regional or country level. Also, the implementation of numerous energy conservation projects globally. Thus, this North American VPPA will move us significantly closer to meeting our overall goal of a 50% reduction by 2030.”
On Duke Energy’s side, Chris Fallon, President of Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, stated the following; “We’re privileged that Charles River has chosen Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions to play a role in reducing their climate impact. Not only will Pisgah Ridge Solar deliver clean, renewable energy resources to communities in Texas; in fact, it is supporting Charles River’s goals of reducing its emissions footprint in North America.”
Charles River Laboratories – addressing the energy transition in the pharmaceutical industry
Moreover, the purchase is expected to generate 250,000 MW hours (MWh) of clean energy each year. Indeed, this is the equivalent of avoiding carbon dioxide emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 20,000 homes.
Worth noting, Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions developed the Pisgah Ridge Solar project. Currently, the project is under construction and expected to achieve entire commercial operations by late 2022. Accordingly, Duke Energy expects to begin providing Charles River with the corresponding renewable energy benefits in 2023.
The VPPA marks a significant step for Charles River since the company will be supplied with approximately 60% renewable electricity globally once the Pisgah Ridge Solar project is online.
Additionally, the VPPA will support Charles’s efforts to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In fact, the Company participates in the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and Business Ambition for 1.5°C.
Worth noting, in late 2019, the Company announced the creation of the Charles River Sustainability Capital Fund; which is a $5 million annual commitment to fund sustainability projects to reduce the environmental impact of its global sites.
Finally, Schneider Electric served as VPPA advisor to Charles River. Indeed, the company assisted throughout the project selection and negotiations.