BALTIMORE -- Constellation has announced an agreement with three major commercial customers to power their operations with renewable energy. At 175 megawatts, this project is the largest of its kind for Constellation, an Exelon company.
Major commitments from Johns Hopkins University; McCormick & Company, a global leader in flavor that manufactures, markets and distributes flavorful products to the entire food industry; and the TJX Companies, Inc., a major off-price apparel and home fashion retailer, resulted in Constellation’s agreement to purchase the renewable power and project-specific renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the Skipjack Solar Center. Skipjack Solar Center is a large new solar plant being developed in Charles City County, Va., on former working timber land. Expected to come online in 2021, the solar project is being built by sPower, an AES and AIMCO Company, and a national leader in the development, construction and operation of solar power facilities.
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (which would initially purchase only project-specific RECs) also is a part of this deal, among other Johns Hopkins’ campuses in Maryland and Washington, DC.
To simplify the purchase, each of the three customers will use Constellation’s Offsite Renewables (CORe) retail power product, which increases access to renewable energy for commercial customers by removing the significant hurdles that accompany traditional offsite power purchase agreements (PPAs). As part of this transaction, Constellation will purchase energy and RECs from the Skipjack Solar Center and will then sell the power and project-specific RECs to the customers.
This collaboration with retail customers is the largest ever for Constellation. By combining the simplified contracting and aggregation process of CORe with the commitment and involvement from sustainability-minded companies such as these, Constellation is able to offer more customers access to the economic and sustainability benefits of large-scale, offsite renewable energy projects.
The 15-year agreement, which begins in 2021, is part of Exelon’s broader commitment to advance zero-carbon energy locally and nationally, address climate change and achieve a cleaner energy future.
“Corporations are eager to do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to cleaner forms of energy, and Constellation is committed to providing clean energy solutions that help them meet their goals,” said Jim McHugh, CEO of Constellation. “This major CORe agreement helps to remove the barriers that stand between companies and their sustainability goals, for the sake of good business – and for the benefit of our environment.”
Combined, the projected greenhouse gas emissions avoided by the three companies is equivalent to removing nearly 34,000 passenger cars off the road over the course of a year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The agreement helps Johns Hopkins University, an anchor institution in Maryland, and one of the nation’s most renowned post-secondary schools, make a significant step toward its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 51 percent by 2025, reaffirms the university’s dedication to environmental stewardship, and positions the university as a leader in meaningful sustainability efforts, JHU leaders said.
“When we pledged in 2010 to more than halve our carbon emissions in 15 years, we knew it would require making significant changes in how we power and operate our university,” said President Ronald J. Daniels. “This agreement demonstrates the seriousness of our commitment to sustainability for the good of our university and our planet.”
McCormick & Company will use the energy to power its Maryland and New Jersey-based facilities, including its corporate headquarters, four manufacturing plants, and two distribution centers.
“McCormick is honored to be a part of the Skipjack solar agreement, which represents a significant move forward in our goal to reduce our carbon footprint across the company,” said Lawrence Kurzius, Chairman, President and CEO of McCormick & Company. “We acknowledge that climate change is a real and pressing problem and we’re committed to doing our part to use renewable energy to combat it.”
Since introducing the CORe product, Constellation has worked with corporate customers of all sizes to prevent the emission of approximately 153,000 metric tons of CO2 each year.