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WestRock, a sustainable fiber-based paper and packaging solutions company, has entered into two virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) with ENGIE North America (ENGIE), a subsidiary of ENGIE S.A. and global leader in the net zero energy transition.
The VPPAs are designed to add renewable energy to the U.S. energy grid and mark a step forward in WestRock’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The agreements support two of ENGIE’s solar projects – Bernard Creek located in Wharton County, Tex. and Chillingham Solar located in Bell County, Tex. – for an aggregate of 282 megawatts (MW).
The new projects comprise one element of WestRock’s strategy to pursue a science-based target (SBT) to reduce Scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 27.5% by 2030. Schneider Electric provided advisory services and strategy management for the WestRock and ENGIE agreements.
“We are pleased to play a role in the development of clean energy from large scale solar projects and to join forces with ENGIE and Schneider Electric to add more renewable energy to the grid,” said David B. Sewell, chief executive officer at WestRock.
WestRock will contract 207 MW from Bernard Creek, a 230 MW solar project which is located southwest of Houston and is expected to have an annual output of approximately 500,000 MWh. The project, slated for completion in the first half of 2024, is expected to generate more than $45 million in revenue for Wharton County over its lifespan and to create more than 250 jobs during construction.
Additionally, WestRock will contract 75 MW from ENGIE’s 350 MW Chillingham Solar project. Chillingham will help support two local school districts with an estimated $70 million in revenue generated over the life of the project, of which $53 million will be paid directly to the school districts. WestRock’s share of Chillingham is expected to be approximately 200,000 MWh per year.