Commercial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables - April 8, 2021
Wells Fargo Expands Solar in North Carolina
Wells Fargo announced a 20-year renewable energy purchase agreement for 100% of solar energy produced by the 58 MW Blackburn Solar project in Catawba County, North Carolina. The transaction is Wells Fargo’s single largest to date and will supply approximately 8% of the company’s annual global electricity.
The agreement is part of Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage (GSA) program. Energy provided under the agreement will allow Wells Fargo to meet more than 50% of total electricity needs and 100% of its eligible load within the Duke Energy Carolinas service area. Wells Fargo will receive 130,000 MWh per year and will also retain the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) associated with the project. The facility will be developed, owned, and operated by a subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources, and is scheduled to come online in 2022.
“The development of renewable energy projects close to employee and customer centers is one way Wells Fargo is working to meet our net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goal in a way that also contributes to the communities where we live and work. Investing in solar energy development in North Carolina will support job creation, tax revenue, reduced carbon emissions, and grid resiliency,” said Nate Hurst, head of Social Impact and Sustainability at Wells Fargo in a statement. “We appreciate the collaboration with Duke and NextEra to advance our enterprise sustainability goals in a way that benefits the local economy.”
Wells Fargo has met 100% of its annual global electricity requirements with renewable energy since 2017, primarily through the purchase of RECs, which satisfied the first part of a two-pronged 2020 renewable energy goal set in 2016. The statement noted that the company is now working to fulfill the second part of that commitment — to transition to a higher mix of long-term renewable energy contracts for projects near its greatest load centers and significantly expand onsite solar generation in order to support the development of net-new sources of renewable energy and deliver community benefits associated with renewable energy development. In March, Wells Fargo announced its goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including its financed emissions.