Universal Corporation Signs Solar PPA - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables  -  January 30, 2024

Universal Corporation Signs Solar PPA

Universal Corporation, a global leaf tobacco supplier, announced that the company entered into a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) to minimize GHG emissions.

The VPPA was entered into with Clearway Energy Group for energy produced by a new solar project in Texas. 

Universal's contracted portion of the project is intended to address emissions from 100% of the company’s annual purchased electricity demand in the U.S.

"This is a meaningful step towards meeting our science-based environmental target to reduce operational greenhouse gasses emissions by 30% by 2030," said George C. Freeman III, Universal's Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, in a statement. "When the solar project is operational, we expect to hit this target for our U.S. operations ahead of schedule. Universal is proud of the steps we are taking to promote the sustainability of our operations and contribute to global sustainability goals, including supporting this project that will bring additional renewable energy to the electricity grid."

The project will start construction later this year and begin delivering under the VPPA in 2026.

Universal made a long-term commitment through the VPPA to purchase a portion of the renewable power delivered to the grid by the large-scale solar facility while also receiving the associated renewable energy certificates (RECs).

The company’s agreement equates to around 70,000 MWh of renewable electricity per year and is expected to reduce GHG emissions by approximately 15,000 metric tons, which is 45% of Universal's Scope 1 and 2 emissions in the United States. 

GreenFront Energy Partners provided strategic and financial advisory services to Universal throughout the procurement process.

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