Cargill - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  April 22, 2020

Cargill adds 200 MW Illinois solar project to renewables portfolio

Cargill announced April 22 the execution of a VPPA for a 200 MW Illinois solar project that is expected to offset 285,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

The food and agricultural provider completed the agreement with Geronimo Energy for the Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Coles County. This is the second VPPA Cargill has signed with Geronimo, the first of which was part of a joint project with Walmart for a South Dakota wind farm in October 2018.

“We're pleased to partner with Geronimo Energy on another renewable energy project that moves Cargill in the right direction toward our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our operations by 10% by 2025,” Eric Hoegger, director of Global Renewable Energy at Cargill, said in a statement. “This new solar power project is the latest example of how we are working with partners to change the way we power our operations, taking advantage of the economic and environmental benefits of renewable power,

The Prairie Wolf project is expected to begin operations at the end of 2021 and will be located in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market.

"In addition to being climate-positive, Prairie Wolf is also an agriculture-positive project," Blake Nixon, Chief Executive Officer for Geronimo, said in a statement. "Renewable energy projects like Prairie Wolf provide much needed stability and predictability for America's farming communities. It is fitting that a company like Cargill, an agri-business committed to farmers and the communities they serve, contracts for a project that will benefit the local rural economy and further Geronimo's own commitment to conduct business in a farmer-friendly manner." 

The Prairie Wolf project is expected to generate $40 million in economic benefits during the first 20 years of operations through new tax revenue, construction jobs and charitable funds through its Education Fund, which will offer $800,000 in donations to local school districts.

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