Exelon subsidiary Constellation has purchase agreements with three commercial customers to power their operations through the energy company’s commissioned 175-MW Skipjack Solar Center, the largest project of its kind for the company.
Major commitments from Johns Hopkins University; McCormick & Company, a seasoning manufacturer and distributor; and the TJX Companies, 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.
“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.”
Skipjack Solar Center is a new solar plant being developed in Charles City County, Virginia, on former working timberland. Expected to come online in 2021, Skipjack is being built by sPower and the company will also handle development and operation of the solar power facility.
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (which would initially purchase only project-specific RECs) also is a part of this deal, among other university 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 PPAs. 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, off-site 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.
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 [half] our carbon emissions in 15 years, we knew it would require making significant changes in how we power and operate our university,” said Ronald J. Daniels, university president. “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.”
News item from Constellation