Insurance provider Anthem has committed to a 15-year power purchase agreement with SunEnergy1, a U.S. solar developer, owner and operator of utility-scale solar projects, for the output from a new 182-acre, 20-MW solar field located in Hanover County, Virginia.
The Hanover County solar field is nearly complete and expected to be fully operational later this year. Combined with an additional solar field in North Carolina coming online in early 2021, Anthem will have supported the development of more than 1,000 acres of solar panels that will generate more than 225,000-MWh of electricity per year, making progress on its goal to source 100% renewable energy by 2025.
The Virginia and North Carolina solar field locations were selected based on Anthem’s material load (major office and data center footprint) in the grid zone that includes both states. Anthem expects the solar field developments to generate enough renewable electricity to power all Anthem offices and data centers across the country.
“As we enter Climate Week, we’re celebrating an important step forward in achieving our renewable energy goal and are proud that Virginia is playing a large role as we increasingly focus on improving the sustainability of our operations and our business,” said Jeff Ricketts, president, Anthem Blue and Blue Shield in Virginia. “By addressing environmental health, we can improve lives and the health of communities in our state and across the country and set the example for others to follow.”
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam visited the Anthem solar development and spoke to his administration’s work to promote a healthier environment and address climate change.
“Clean energy will power the future, and Virginia is leading the way,” Northam said. “Since I took office, our administration has worked constantly to create new clean energy opportunities and to make sure that Virginia is at the forefront of clean energy innovation. Virginia will power the grid with 100% clean energy in the years to come, thanks to this transformative new law and a comprehensive energy plan. It’s good to see employers like Anthem choose renewable energy, and we congratulate them on being part of the solution.”
Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act into law earlier this year. The new law promotes energy efficiency, setting a schedule for closing old fossil fuel power plants and requiring electricity to come from 100% renewable sources such as solar or wind.
“Today’s announcement is one important step to achieving our goal of 100% renewable energy,” Ricketts said. “We know there is much work to do in the future and our hope is we can continue to impact change and set an example for the entire healthcare industry.”
News item from Anthem