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Global apparel retailer Gap Inc. announced that it has signed a 90-MW virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for the Aurora Wind Project with Enel Green Power North America, marking one of the largest offsite renewable energy contracts by an apparel retailer.
The 12-year agreement is Gap’s latest renewable energy deal and will enable the company to reach its 2020 goal to reduce emissions for its owned and operated facilities by 50 percent compared to 2015. The company also announced it has set a goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy across its global owned and operated facilities by 2030.
The wind electricity output purchased by Gap Inc. from the 90 MW portion of Enel Green Power’s 299 MW Aurora project is expected to total approximately 374 gigawatt hours (GWh) each year.
Gap was advised on this VPPA by Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services, who assisted the company in its project selection and negotiations. “Pursuing an offsite VPPA was an ideal solution to address the company’s unique real estate footprint, which lacks owned rooftop space, and achieve its carbon reduction targets while creating both business and environmental value,” said John Powers, VP of Strategic Renewables for Schneider Electric
Enel Green Power North America—a leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants with a managed capacity of over 5 GW—will build, own, and operate the Aurora Wind Project located in Williams and Mountrail counties in North Dakota. Once completed, the total project will be able to generate approximately 1.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) annually. The project is expected to enter operation by the end of 2020.
This announcement is the third renewable energy contract signed by Gap Inc. Earlier this year, the company joined with Bloomberg, Cox Enterprises, Salesforce and Workday to sign a joint 42.5-megawatt renewable energy deal, with Gap Inc.’s share of the project addressing the energy footprint of all Athleta stores and operations. Previously, Gap Inc. signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with SunPower for 3 megawatts of onsite solar at its distribution center in Fresno, California.