Dairy giant targets 50% renewables, signs wind contract with Engie in Australia

Engie’s Willogoleche wind farm in SA

The Australian arm of one of the world’s top 10 dairy processors, Saputo Inc, has begun the shift to just under 50 per cent renewable electricity for its Australian operations, after kicking off a power purchase agreement with global renewables developer, Engie.

Saputo Dairy Australia, whose brands include Devondale, Great Ocean Road, King Island Dairy and Mersey Valley, says it  commenced a 10 year long-term, large-scale renewable PPA with Engie, as from earlier this month.

The PPA kicked in on April 1, following a two-year intensive program with energy and sustainability advisor, Schneider Electric. Globally, the diary giant has pledged to cut its global greenhouse gas intensity by 20% by 2025.

“Partnering with Engie is an important step in sourcing clean renewable electricity to reduce SDA’s environmental footprint and play our part as a sustainable dairy manufacturer,” SDA said in a statement.

SDA said the agreement would “ramp up” over the coming two years to offset 46% of its electricity with renewables through Engine’s Australian renewables portfolio, which currently owns some operational wind power capacity – including the Willogoleche wind farm in South Australia – and plenty more in the development pipeline, including the 420MW Hills of Gold wind farm.

Engie – which was the owner of one of Australia’s most emissions-intensive coal plants, the Hazelwood power station in Victoria, when it was shut down in 2017 – has itself been making the transition to renewable energy.

In 2019, the company flagged plans to partner with one or more parties to underwrite the development of 2GW (2000MW) of large-scale renewables in Australia, alone, over the coming decade.

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