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Going Carbon Neutral a Breeze for Philips North America with 100% Renewable Energy from Texas Wind Farm

Company expects to reduce carbon footprint by 125,000 metric tons yearly – the equivalent of CO2 produced by over 26,000 cars in one year

Andover, Massachusetts – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today announced Philips North America will use 100 percent renewable energy for its North American operations by the end of 2016, a major step toward its 2020 carbon neutrality ambitions announced last week at COP21. Working with EDP Renewables North America, Philips will purchase 250,000 MWh of electricity per year over the next 15 years from the Hidalgo Wind Farm in McCook, Texas, an amount equivalent to the power used at the company’s 133 sites which support over 21,000 employees in the market.  The financial details of the agreement will not be disclosed.

“At Philips, our goal is simple – to positively impact people’s health and well- being, while minimizing our impact on the environment.  This not only means making our products more ecologically efficient, it also requires that we reduce the environmental impact of our operations,” said Brent Shafer, CEO of Philips North America. “Our power purchase agreement will allow a brand-new wind farm to be built in Texas.  Moreover, by offsetting our North American operations with renewable energy, we will reduce the Philips global carbon footprint by 8.6 percent, support the local economy and positively impact our bottom line, demonstrating the private sector can benefit from and help drive clean energy.”

This is the latest sustainability effort in North America for Philips, which includes a 2MW wind turbine at its lighting manufacturing facility in Fall River, Massachusetts, as well as a solar farm at its Andover, Massachusetts campus.  Globally, Philips is a member of the RE100, a collaborative initiative of influential businesses committed to 100 percent renewable electricity.  Over the last 6 years (2008-2014), Philips has increased its use of renewable energy from 8 percent to 55 percent. Recognized as an industry leader in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) by scoring an “A” for performance, Philips anticipates that by using renewable energy, it will be able to further reduce its carbon footprint by 125,000 metric tons – the equivalent of CO2 produced by over 26,000 passenger cars in one year.

Philips publishes data on its sustainability activities as part of its integrated annual report, covering its financial, social and environmental performance. Through its Circular Economy and Green Operations programs, Philips is driving circular thinking by focusing on sustainable consumption and production patterns. In 2014, 81 percent of Philips total industrial waste was re-used as a result of recycling and the company is on track to deliver on its 2015 ambitions.  More information available at Philips.com.

Southern Company Subsidiary’s First Wind Project in Operation

Atlanta, Georgia — Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power today announced its first wind project, the 299-megawatt (MW) Kay Wind facility in Kay County, Oklahoma, is fully operational.

“The completion of Kay Wind – Southern Power’s first wind project – marks an important milestone for our company,” said Southern Power President and Chief Executive Officer Oscar C. Harper. “Renewables remain a central focus as we continue developing sustainable energy solutions through projects that align with Southern Power’s conservative business model.”

The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold under 20-year power purchase agreements with Westar Energy Inc. in Kansas and Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) in Oklahoma. Westar Energy has contracted for approximately 199 MW, and GRDA has contracted for approximately 100 MW. Both companies will have the option to either keep or sell the RECs.

Apex Clean Energy developed and will operate and maintain the facility. Blattner Energy Inc. served as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

The Kay Wind project consists of 130 wind turbines manufactured by Siemens and is capable of generating enough electricity to help meet the energy needs of approximately 100,000 average U.S. homes. Southern Power has also entered into an agreement to acquire the Grant Wind facility – a 150-MW project in Grant County, Oklahoma – upon successful completion of construction, which is expected to be in 2016. The facility is expected to utilize 66 wind turbines manufactured by Siemens.

Serving nearly 700,000 customers for more than a century, Westar Energy is Kansas’ largest electric utility. GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility, producing electricity that touches 75 of the 77 counties in the state. Apex Clean Energy is an independent renewable energy company focused on building utility-scale generation facilities, with one of the nation’s largest, most diversified portfolios of renewable energy resources, capable of producing more than 12,000 MW of clean energy.

The Kay Wind project fits Southern Power’s business strategy of growing its wholesale business through the acquisition and construction of generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts.

About Southern Power
Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider, meeting the electricity needs of municipalities, electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities. Southern Power and its subsidiaries own or have rights to 32 facilities in nine states, with more than 10,300 MW of generating capacity operating or under development in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.

About Southern Company
With more than 4.5 million customers and approximately 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are inventing America’s energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency, and creating new products and services for the benefit of customers. Southern Company has been named by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, listed by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity and designated a 2014 Top Employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network. The company earned the 2014 National Award of Nuclear Science and History from the National Atomic Museum Foundation for its leadership and commitment to nuclear development, and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune’s annual World’s Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.

Procter & Gamble to Manufacture Iconic Brands Including Tide and Dawn with Wind Power

New Texas based wind farm to provide 100 percent of electricity to all P&G Fabric & Home Care plants in the United States and Canada.

  • Procter & Gamble (P&G) and EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) partner to generate wind power to meet P&G’s North American Fabric & Home Care plants’ electricity demands.
  • P&G turns the American Business Act on Climate Pledge into a reality with wind power partnership.
  • Amount of electricity generated by the wind farm would be enough to wash one million laundry loads.
  • Giant pinwheel ‘wind farm’ constructed on Capitol Hill (Washington DC) to celebrate the collaboration.

See more at: http://news.pg.com/press-release/procter-gamble-make-iconic-brands-including-tide-and-dawn-wind-power#sthash.0uHTMLdH.dpuf

Cincinnati, Ohio – Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced today plans to meet its electricity demands by using 100 percent wind power to make iconic Fabric & Home Care brands, such as Tide and Dawn. This is possible thanks to a new partnership with EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) which will see a new Texas based wind farm generate 370,000 MWh of electricity each year. The wind farm will be fully operational in December 2016.

The partnership was announced at the White House today, as P&G became a signatory of the ‘American Business Act on Climate Pledge’. As part of the pledge, P&G agreed to achieve 30 percent renewable energy to power its plants globally by 2020, with a long term vision to use 100 percent renewable energy. This comes on the heels of a September announcement where P&G committed to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020.

One of the key actions on the journey to rely more on renewable energy is to partner with EDF RE to build a wind farm in Cooke County, Texas. This will generate 370,000 MWh of electricity per year – enough to meet electricity demands for all of P&G’s North American Fabric & Home Care plants, where iconic brands such as Tide, Gain, Downy, Dawn, Cascade, Febreze, and Mr. Clean are produced.

The amount of power generated from the partnership will be equivalent to avoiding more than 200,000 metric tonnes of CO₂ emissions annually. This equals one percent of the national annual reduction target for electricity emissions called for in the White House Clean Power Plan.

The electricity consumption of the plants makes up about half of their total energy consumption. The electricity will be exclusively generated by wind power. The plants will also continue to use natural gas for process heating and comfort heating during winter.

Speaking about the project Shailesh Jejurikar, North America Fabric Care President, P&G, commented: “I am delighted that our collaboration with EDF RE continues to provide our consumers with their favorite, high performing brands while reducing our environmental footprint.”

He continued: “At P&G, when it comes to sustainability, actions speak louder than words and this move is a significant milestone in delivering that promise. It is incredible that the wind farm will generate enough electricity for all our P&G Fabric and Home Care plants; to put that in context: This is enough electricity to wash a million loads of laundry.”

Tristan Grimbert, CEO and President of EDF RE states: “The participation of P&G to directly procure wind power is a concrete action that demonstrates their understanding of the benefits of renewable energy. Wind not only emits zero greenhouse gas emissions, but also delivers long-term energy price stability,” he continues “P&G is leading one of the fastest growing markets in the renewable energy space and we are pleased to be their partner to reach their climate pledge goals.”

To celebrate the scale of the collaboration, P&G Fabric & Home Care and EDF RE have constructed a mini-wind farm in Washington DC. The installation is placed on the lawn in front of the Capitol Building and is made up of thousands of spinning pinwheels.

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About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves nearly five billion people around the world with its brands. The Company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, Wella® and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

About EDF RE
EDF Renewable Energy is a leading U.S. independent power producer with more than 25 years of expertise in the renewable industry, covering all range of services from project development, management to operations and maintenance. EDF Renewable Energy specializes in wind and solar photovoltaic with presence in other segments of the renewable energy market: biogas, biomass, hydro, marine energy and storage solutions. The company develops, constructs, operates and manages renewable energy projects throughout the United States for its own accord as well as for third parties. EDF Renewable Energy’s North American portfolio consists of 6 gigawatts of developed projects with 3.2 gigawatts of installed capacity throughout US, Canada, and Mexico. EDF Renewable Energy is a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles. EDF Energies Nouvelles is the renewable energy arm of the EDF group, the leading electricity company in the world. For more information visit: http://www.edf-re.com

– See more at: http://news.pg.com/press-release/procter-gamble-make-iconic-brands-including-tide-and-dawn-wind-power#sthash.0uHTMLdH.dpuf

Koch-Funded Professor Strikes Out on Wind Energy

Please note that Newsweek did later provide a disclaimer, noting Mr. Simmons’ clear bias and conflicts of interest.

Newsweek recently did a major disservice to its readers by publishing – apparently without any fact checking – an error-ridden opinion piece by Randy Simmons, the “Charles G. Koch Professor” at Utah State University. Newsweek also failed to disclose that Simmons is a major recipient of funding from the fossil fuel industry billionaires, and that this attack follows Simmons’s two other thoroughly discredited attacks on wind energy in the last month. Below I go line-by-line to point out the false claims and obvious factual errors in the Koch professor’s latest attack.

1. Fact checking: The attack piece begins with an obvious factual error: “…wind energy – which supplies just 2 percent of US electricity….” A quick glance at Department of Energy data reveals that wind energy provided 4.44 percent of electricity last year. Moreover, that figure that is expected to grow to around 6 percent once under construction and recently completed wind projects produce power for a full year. Wind energy is growing quickly and is making major contributions to providing America with a cleaner, more diverse portfolio of energy resources.

2. Wind’s incentives are a drop in the bucket compared to those for other energy sources: The Koch professor next paints a very misleading picture of federal energy incentives by ignoring the far larger subsidies for conventional energy sources. The nuclear industry’s own tally shows that all renewable resources accounted for less than 10 percent of federal energy incentives provided over the period 1950-2010, with fossil resources receiving more than 70 percent. Additional data from other sources is provided here.

Simmons’s next line of attack is inconsistent with basic economic principles, with his criticism that some wind project development is done by U.S. subsidiaries of multinational corporations particularly peculiar for an economist who claims to support free markets. The reality is that the federal renewable production tax credit (PTC) directly reduces the cost of wind energy sold to U.S. consumers, with expert analysis confirming that virtually the full value of the credit is reflected in lower consumer electricity costs. The same could not be said for incentives for other energy sources whose price is set on the global market. Moreover, the majority of the economic development and job creation associated with wind project development occurs in the U.S.

Finally, Simmons attempts to greatly exaggerate the number of federal programs that are benefitting wind energy by rehashing a misleading attack that has been used by other fossil-funded groups.

3. Technology improvements have reduced wind’s costs below what Simmons claims: Before incorrectly adding a number of supposed costs onto the cost wind energy, Simmons compounds that error by starting with a cost that is too high by putting words in the mouths of wind “proponents” about what wind energy actually costs. He writes: “[Wind] proponents tend to claim it costs as little as $59 to generate a megawatt-hour of electricity from wind.” Later, he writes: “On the low end, the financial advisory firm Lazard claims wind costs $59 per megawatt-hour.” [link in original] First, Lazard actually states that the lowest cost wind projects come in at a cost of $37/MWh. Second, Lazard is not a “wind energy proponent,” but rather a “financial advisory firm” as Simmons himself admits later in his attack piece.

Regardless, the best information on what wind energy costs can be obtained from market data. Once again, it is peculiar for someone who purports to be a free market economist to use cost estimates instead of market price data. Data on the price of utility contracts to purchase wind energy, compiled by the Department of Energy (DOE), show that the average price was $22/MWh in 2013, which if the PTC were not in place would correspond to a cost of just over $40/MWh. In short, Simmons is behind the times on both wind’s share of the electricity mix as well as wind energy’s technology improvements.

More perplexing is that Simmons references Lazard’s analysis, but fails to use its results when they contradict his claims. Simmons states that “For the studies we examined, capital costs ranged from $48 to $88 per megawatt-hour, while O&M costs ranged from $9.80 to $21 per megawatt-hour.” However, Lazard’s analysis shows wind’s capital cost at between $30/MWh and $66/MWh, and O&M costs at between $8-15/MWh, significantly below the range claimed by Simmons. DOE’s data also indicate an average O&M cost of $9/MWh for recently installed wind projects.

4. Wind energy’s grid integration cost is actually lower than that of conventional generation: Next, Simmons runs through a series of thoroughly debunked claims about how wind energy is integrated onto the power system, essentially regurgitating the discredited line of attack used by another Koch-funded group back in 2013. The reality (as explained in Chapters 3 and 5 here) is that all power plants are backed up by other plants. Moreover, grid operator data indicate that the cost of integrating wind is actually lower than the cost of integrating large conventional power plants. This is because changes in wind output are gradual and predictable, while large fossil and nuclear plants fail instantaneously and without warning. Calculations made using data from the Texas grid operator indicate that the cost of integrating wind energy is only about $0.37/MWh, while the cost of integrating conventional power plant failures is nearly twice as high on a per-MWh basis, and more than 17 times higher on a total cost basis. Based on the Texas data, wind’s actual integration cost is 6-70 times lower than claimed by Simmons, and he totally ignores the larger integration costs for fossil and nuclear power plants.

Simmons then gets even more confused about how the power system operates, claiming that using a power plant to provide reserves requires the plant to be operating and therefore affects emissions. The reality is that any increase in reserve need caused by wind is often met by power plants that are not online but can start up quickly in the rare event they are needed, as changes in wind output are gradual and predictable. Regardless, any energy provided by any power plant providing reserves must directly displace energy that would have been provided by another power plant, as the laws of physics dictate that energy cannot be destroyed.

Simmons also repeats the conclusively rejected myth that wind affects the efficiency of power plants by causing them to change their output. Real-world emissions data confirm that wind energy produces 99.8% of the expected emissions reductions. Simmons claims an earlier study found a different result, but that analysis was a simple modeling effort that failed to use wind’s true impact on system reserve needs, which are a fraction of what it assumed as most changes in wind output are canceled out by opposite changes in electricity demand or deviations at other power plants. For more detailed discussion of this topic and citations to the studies that have debunked this myth, see Chapter 14 here.

Next, Simmons misunderstands that transmission upgrades that help integrate wind have a number of other benefits, so these lines more than pay for themselves and should be viewed as a benefit, not a cost. In addition to saving consumers money, these upgrades improve electric reliability, make electricity markets more competitive, protect consumers against fuel price fluctuations, and other benefits. For example, transmission lines primarily added to help integrate wind in Texas have improved electric reliability around Dallas and San Antonio, while also facilitating the development of oil and gas production in West Texas. Regardless, DOE calculates that even if transmission is viewed as a cost that should be attributed to wind, it would only be a cost of $3.2/MWh, which is not drastically higher than the transmission cost for other energy sources.

In sum, each of Simmons’s attempts to add a cost to wind has actually highlighted a benefit of wind. Wind energy’s integration cost is actually lower than that for conventional generators, and transmission added to primarily integrate wind more than pays for itself by providing large net benefits.

5. Wind energy benefits consumers: Next, Simmons tries to use obsolete analysis from another Koch-funded group to claim that states with pro-renewable policies have higher electricity prices. While many factors affect the price of electricity so correlation does not prove causality, regardless the data actually support the opposite conclusion if one uses data that is more current than the outdated data used by the Koch group that Simmons cites. Last month, independent expert DBL Investors analyzed the data and found that states with the most use of renewable energy have lower electricity prices, while also observing that states with pro-renewable policies have seen lower electricity price increases than other states. Such a finding makes sense, as stably-priced wind energy helps to protect consumers against increases in the price of other fuels.

Simmons then seemingly contradicts himself by claiming that wind energy is reducing electricity prices so much that it is making it harder for other energy sources to compete. The claim that wind energy is having an undue impact on other energy sources has been thoroughly rejected by a number of experts, including former Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner John Norris.

6. Once errors are corrected, Simmons’s math shows wind provides major net benefits: Each time Simmons attempts to attack wind energy, he actually highlights a benefit of wind. Whether it is the fact the total incentives received by wind energy are far smaller than those that have been given to fossil and nuclear energy, or wind’s lower grid integration cost, or wind’s actual cost, Simmons’ arguments fall flat when the full comparative picture is revealed. Of course, had Simmons looked at metrics such as impact on public health and the environment, or protection against fuel price increase risk, he would have found even more reason to like wind energy. Simmons claims that his article is “part of a study I’m doing of other energy sources including solar, natural gas, and coal to determine how much each one actually cost us when all factors are considered.” If you think the Koch professor will actually take a fair look at the negative externalities for public health costs for each resource, or the total incentives that each has received, or the value of fuel price stability, or the cost of integrating each resource onto the grid, or even what each energy source actually costs, don’t hold your breath.

Dow to Become One of the Largest Industrial Buyers of Renewable Energy

Dow Accelerates Sustainability with New Wind Farm Agreement for Texas Facility

Midland, Michigan – As a part of Dow’s Energy Plan and its Sustainability Goals, The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) has taken another step towards reducing its own carbon “footprint.” Marking milestone progress, Dow’s Energy business has signed a long-term agreement with a new wind farm, currently under development in South Texas by a subsidiary of Bordas Wind Energy, LLC, a joint venture between MAP® and Enerverse, LLC. The wind farm, to be complete in first quarter 2016, will span nearly 35,000 acres, and will supply Dow’s Freeport Texas Manufacturing facility with 200 MW of wind power annually, equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power more than 55,000 homes.

As a direct result, Dow is the first company in the U.S. to power a manufacturing site with renewable energy at this scale, and will become the third largest corporate purchaser of wind energy in the United States. As one of the largest industrial energy consumers in the world, Dow has consistently been on the forefront of new energy technology improvements. Dow is on track to meet its 2025 renewable energy goal as part of its Sustainability Goal commitments.

“Dow is always looking for win-win solutions – good for the environment and good for business,” said Jim Fitterling, vice chairman of business operations at Dow. “By entering into this agreement, Dow is taking a serious approach to our future energy needs in Texas and cost-competitive wind energy is a great opportunity.”

“Adding large scale renewable energy to Dow’s manufacturing process is just one smart move that we can make to secure a future of sustainability, growth, and long-term competitive advantage,” said Seth Roberts, global business director of the Energy and Climate Change portfolio at Dow. “This decision also serves as a systemic hedge against both energy and power price volatility, while improving our overall carbon footprint.”

This new wind deal results from Dow’s long-term COAT vision and strategy as outlined in the Dow Energy Plan, a four pillared, global approach to Energy and Sustainability:

  • Conserve by aggressively pursuing energy efficiency and conservation.
  • Optimize, increase and diversify domestic hydrocarbon resources.
  • Accelerate the development of cost effective clean energy alternatives.
  • Transition to a Sustainable Energy Future.

As a business and sustainability leader, Dow recognizes that today’s unprecedented challenges also represent a tremendous opportunity for those who dare to envision a different future. Under Dow’s Sustainability Goals, Dow commits to continuing to reduce our own footprint, including securing 400 MW of clean power by 2025.

About Dow
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture.

In 2014, Dow had annual sales of more than $58 billion and employed approximately 53,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 6,000 products are manufactured at 201 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.

Wind Coalition Formally Responds to Texas Comptroller’s Biased Attack on Wind Energy

On Friday, The Wind Coalition formally responded to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ recently released report on wind energy in Texas. Rather than be considered a research piece, her report is better labeled an opinion on wind.  A long-time, outspoken opponent of wind energy development, Susan Combs is taking advantage of her final days in the Comptroller’s office using the power of that agency to push her anti-renewables agenda.  The report is error filled and deliberately distorts the facts to portray wind energy in a negative light.

Fortunately, the public and the press can see through the propaganda and the politicking. Combs’ report is a tired rehash of the arguments made by anti-wind groups and the dirty energy companies that she has so often promoted.

She’s wrong on technology, she’s wrong on subsidies, and she’s wrong on policy.

She’s also wrong on key economic issues affecting Texas, pushing ideas that would keep us hooked on imported coal instead of powering our states with the abundant resources with which we have been blessed.  Texas natural gas, Texas wind, and Texas solar can get the job done.  Texans Powering Texas.

Our response is lengthy but it says what needed to be said in response to her poorly researched, biased attack on a key Texas industry.  Please take time to read and share.

You can read The Wind Coalition’s formal response to the Comptroller here.

Wind Coalition Letter to Susan Combs – September 26, 2014