Each month we tell the story of one company, exploring how and why it has chosen to prioritize climate action. To learn more or be considered for a future story, email us at [email protected].
Making Local Partnerships to Achieve 100% Renewable Power by 2019
Last month, Organic Valley upped the ante on its existing climate action commitments by announcing an ambitious plan to source 100% of its power from renewables by 2019. In order to reach this goal, the Wisconsin-based cooperative has formed the Organic Valley Community Solar Partnership (OVCSP) with the Upper Midwest Municipal Energy Group (UMMEG) and OneEnergy Renewables to dramatically increase access to renewable energy in its home state.
"To keep farmers on the land, you need to be good stewards of the land. Working in cooperation with nature has always been at the heart of our work, and we look forward to partnering with these rural communities to bring us all a stable source of renewable energy," said CEO George Siemon.
The partnership supports new solar installations in the Midwest and is already leading to the growth of solar installations in the region that will go beyond meeting Organic Valley’s needs. Their new goal includes a number of solar installation projects to complement existing installations in La Farge and Cashton, as well as the Cashton Greens Wind Farm. These projects, alone, will create a 15% increase in solar energy use in Wisconsin. Learn more about the partnership.
Organic Valley will purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) from the projects near its facilities to reach this new 100% renewable goal.
Why is this leading organic dairy cooperative investing so heavily in renewables? “It’s about scaling up the good, to drive down the costs for all,” says Jonathan Reinbold, Organic Valley’s head of sustainability. The cooperative has invested $6 million in renewable energy systems over the past six years and they foresee long-term gains and cost savings from these investments. All participating communities in the project will benefit from lower and more stable electricity costs, in addition to a reduced carbon footprint which benefits everyone. Learn more about the project and contact Elizabeth Horton at [email protected] with media inquiries.