Darmstadt, Germany, January 7, 2021 — As part of its ongoing commitment to renewable energy, Merck, a leading science and technology company, has signed a 12-year, off-site, virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Enel Green Power for the construction of a future wind and storage project in Texas, United States.
“Now more than ever, it is critical for companies to evaluate their operations and take action toward becoming more environmentally sustainable,” said Chris Ross, interim sector head, Life Science, and U.S. country speaker at Merck. “This project supports our commitment to be climate neutral by 2040, complementing our energy and emissions reduction initiatives. Our involvement in the Azure Sky wind and storage project firmly moves us closer toward achieving this ambitious goal, outlined in our sustainability strategy.”
Taking on 68 MW of the Azure Sky wind and storage project’s 350 MW of capacity paired with a 137 MW battery, Merck is an anchor buyer within the Net Zero Consortium for Buyers. This aggregation of corporations was organized by the Sustainability Roundtable, Inc., which brings companies together to approach the renewable energy market with an aggregated renewable energy need, thus providing access to VPPA's which were previously only accessible to companies with outsized energy needs.
The agreement – which is among the largest aggregation deals in the world – will deliver Renewable Energy Certificates to match 65% of Merck’s U.S. electricity consumption or 100% of the Life Science business' U.S. electricity consumption.
The Azure Sky wind project will be located west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Throckmorton County, Texas, United States. Merck’s portion of the project is equivalent to approximately 14 wind turbines that stand nearly 183 meters tall. The project is expected to be operational by the first half of 2022.
“Merck’s commitment as an anchor buyer of the aggregation deal is contributing toward an extraordinary shift in the renewable energy purchasing market, giving businesses with all sizes of energy demand the opportunity to procure renewable energy in a cost-effective way,” said Georgios Papadimitriou, head of Enel Green Power in the U.S and Canada. “We thank Merck for its collaborative role in this agreement.”
Merck has a long history of investing in renewable energy. Since 2009, the company has installed a combined 2.28 MW of onsite solar at several of its Life Science business sites around the globe, including Jigani, and Peenya, India; Bedford, and Burlington, Massachusetts, United States; St. Louis, Missouri, United States; and Molsheim, France. The company has also installed solar at its Healthcare business sites in Aubonne, Switzerland; Billerica, Massachusetts, United States; and Rome, Italy, as well as at its Electronics sites in Khopoli, India; Poseung, South Korea; Shanghai, China; and Shizuoka, Japan. Merck is also celebrating the five-year anniversary of its 5.9 MW biomass central heat plant at its Life Science business site in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, United States, which uses renewable woodchips for 100% of the manufacturing plant’s heating needs.
For more information about Merck’s commitment to managing the environmental impact of its operations, visit the sustainability page here.
About the Corporate Responsibility Efforts of the Life Science Business of Merck
Through its corporate responsibility initiatives, the Life Science business of Merck, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada, harnesses the collective expertise, passion, and energy of employees to minimize its environmental footprint and positively impact communities around the world.
The Life Science business of Merck is uniquely positioned to solve the toughest problems in life science through its efforts aligned with strengths in research, innovation, and collaboration with the global scientific community. This helps differentiate its business and provides a competitive edge for its customers, while accelerating access to health for people everywhere. The Life Science business of Merck demonstrates its commitment to corporate responsibility through extensive programs in three main areas: Greener Products and Solutions — which includes Design for Sustainability, Green Chemistry, Packaging and Recycling initiatives; Employee and Community Engagement; and Sustainable Operations.
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science, and electronics. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2020, Merck generated sales of € 17.5 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics.