The Gap. Hurst, Texas. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Andybis123)
The Gap. Hurst, Texas. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Andybis123)

Gap Inc. (GPS) last week announced a 90 megawatt (MW) virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Enel Green Power North America, one of the largest off-site renewable energy contracts by an apparel retailer, Business Wire reported.

The 12-year agreement for the Aurora Wind Project is Gap Inc.’s latest renewable energy deal, the report said, enabling it to reach a 2020 50% reduction goal from 2015 on absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for its facilities.

According to Business Wire, GAP officials also announced a goal to reach 100% renewable energy across its facilities worldwide by 2030.

“We have a responsibility to reduce our climate impact. For Gap Inc., being a part of the climate solution means making strategic investments in clean energy generation.”Said Art Peck, president and chief executive officer, Gap Inc.

“Today we have secured a path to achieving our 2020 goal, but we must do more,” he added. “I’m proud to commit to renewable energy for 100 percent of our stores, headquarters and distribution centers globally by 2030.”

Gap Inc. operates more than 3,300 stores worldwide; however the majority of its stores are located on leased sites, limiting the company’s ability to implement onsite renewable energy assets.

Agreement Benefits Local Grid Via Clean Generation and Stabilizes Operating Costs. 

According to the report, the Enel Green Power agreement allows Gap to meet its renewable goal by aggregating its distributed electricity load in the U.S. and purchasing wind energy equivalent to it 1,500 retail stores’s energy needs globally.

Business Wire said the agreement benefits both the local grid via clean generation and stabilizes Gap’s operating costs despite fluctuating energy prices.

“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,” the report said. “It will reduce GHG emissions equivalent to the carbon reduction of removing 60,000 passenger cars from the road annually.”

According to Business Wire, Gap Inc. was advised on the agreement by Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services.

“Gap Inc. has shown tremendous and ongoing sustainability leadership in the apparel industry,” said John Powers, vice president of strategic renewables for Schneider Electric.  “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.

“We want to congratulate Gap Inc. on this important project that will contribute to a clean energy future for all,” he added.

Enel Green Power North America is a leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants and 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-hour (TWh) annually, the article says. It will also avoid about 880,000 tons of CO2 per year. The project is expected to enter operation by the end of 2020.

“This partnership with Gap Inc. demonstrates how global brands are increasingly turning to us for our extensive expertise in creating flexible and customized solutions that address unique renewable energy needs,” Said Antonio Cammisecra, global head of Enel Green Power.

“With partnerships like this one, which create immediate returns while furthering emission reduction strategies, Enel Green Power once again reaffirms the strong bond between sustainability and value creation,” he added.

Author:
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