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Bayer Unveils Revolutionary Solar Energy Projects at Locations in New Jersey and California

2024-02-08
Bayer, a global leader in innovation and sustainability, has recently announced the launch of two groundbreaking solar energy projects in Woodland, CA and Whippany, NJ. These projects reflect Bayer's commitment to reducing its environmental impact and promoting renewable energy.

Woodland Site Solar Array Installation

 

At Bayer's vegetable research and development site in Woodland, CA, a state-of-the-art solar array installation has been introduced. This installation is expected to provide an impressive 70% of the site's electrical energy demand, making it the most onsite solar-powered operation within Bayer globally.

 

Enrique Wehlen, Head of Sustainability, Safety, Health & Environments (SSHE) North America at Bayer, expresses his excitement by stating, "With this new installation, the Woodland site is the most onsite solar-powered operation within Bayer globally."

 

Whippany Office Solar Installation

 

Furthermore, Bayer has completed a solar installation at its main U.S. offices in Whippany, NJ. This installation, along with the Woodland project, demonstrates Bayer's dedication to reducing energy costs and embracing sustainable practices.

 

These two solar energy projects will be officially unveiled to employees and community leaders at local events, celebrating Bayer's commitment to a more sustainable future.

 

Aligning with Sustainability Goals

 

Both projects align with Bayer's sustainability commitments, including the ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and have net-zero waste across its entire value chain by 2050. These targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, highlighting the company's commitment to measurable and impactful progress.

 

Bayer's strategy to achieve these goals involves purchasing 100% sustainable renewable electricity by 2030. The company also emphasizes the importance of energy efficiency and clean energy resources in its quest for sustainability.

 

Per the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, Bayer aims to continually reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the company and along its entire value chain. By utilizing renewable energy sources like solar power, Bayer significantly reduces its carbon emissions during the electricity generation process.

 

A Strong Signal of Commitment

 

Delf Bintakies, Global Head of Sustainability, Safety, Health & Environments (SSHE) at Bayer, highlights the significance of these solar installations as a clear demonstration of Bayer's commitment to greenhouse gas emission reduction. These projects serve as an important message to employees, customers, and communities, showcasing Bayer's dedication to sustainability.

 

Bayer has strict criteria for its procurement of green energy, focusing on factors such as the proximity of energy production facilities to its sites, the use of innovative energy sources, and a strong emphasis on wind and solar power.

 

With these cutting-edge solar energy projects, Bayer continues to lead the way in sustainable practices, inspiring others in the industry to follow suit.

 

Bayer Completes Sustainable Solar Installation in Woodland, CA

 

Bayer, in collaboration with Enel North America, has completed a state-of-the-art solar and energy storage system in Woodland, CA. This installation, boasting a capacity of 2.7 MW of solar and 1 MW / 2 MWh of energy storage, will power 70 percent of the site's electrical energy needs. Situated on 10 acres of Bayer's agricultural research property, the ground-mounted solar panels can generate nearly two megawatts of electricity.

 

Enhancing Sustainability and Resilience

 

The Woodland site has often experienced rolling blackouts and grid disruptions, making the solar-plus-storage system a crucial addition to Bayer's energy and operational resilience. This innovative project will also significantly reduce Bayer's carbon footprint while alleviating the demand on the local energy infrastructure.

 

A Commitment to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

 

Staci A Rosenberger, Woodland & San Juan Bautista Site Operations Lead at Bayer, emphasizes the company's commitment to achieving a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This solar installation aligns with Bayer's sustainability goals, minimizing its environmental impact and offsetting electrical usage during peak demand. Furthermore, the surrounding communities will also benefit from this forward-thinking initiative.

 

Contributing to Energy Resilience and Infrastructure Demand

 

Matt Barnes, Head of Distributed Energy Solutions at Enel North America, highlights the significance of this project amidst the increasing prevalence of extreme weather events and wildfires. By enhancing Bayer's energy resilience, while simultaneously reducing stress on the local energy infrastructure, this solar installation benefits all energy users in the region. Enel North America is pleased to collaborate with Bayer and contribute to the achievement of its sustainability targets.

 

Sustainable Practices Throughout the Project Lifespan

 

Over the estimated 30-year lifespan of the solar project, flowering cover crops, including wildflowers, will be planted between the rows of panels. This serves aesthetic purposes, as well as promotes pollinator habitats and soil remediation.

 

A Thriving Community and Commitment to Education

 

Bayer's Woodland site, established in 1972, encompasses nearly 400 acres of owned and leased land. More than 230 professionals from over 20 different countries work at the site, with the potential for an additional 100+ temporary workers during peak periods. The Woodland employees take pride in the company's sustainability endeavors and their ability to make a meaningful impact in the local community.

 

Employees actively engage with non-profit organizations through volunteer work and welcome students from nearby schools to the Baylab, a STEM education center. The Baylab provides hands-on learning experiences, focusing on sustainable agricultural practices such as integrated pest management and improved breeding methodologies. Moreover, Bayer will soon introduce a Bayer LifeHub at the Woodland site, which will serve as a space dedicated to supporting innovative sustainable agriculture and food production systems. The LifeHub will also contribute to increasing societal understanding and acceptance of the new technologies that are transforming the agricultural and food production sectors.

 

Bayer's Partnership with DSD Renewables Leads to Successful Whippany Solar Installation

 

Bayer, in collaboration with DSD Renewables (DSD), has completed a groundbreaking solar installation in Whippany, New Jersey. This 1.7 MW ground mount system is expected to offset approximately 25 percent of the energy consumption at the Whippany site on an annual basis. With a design that includes 3,600 solar modules that track the sun's path from East to West, the installation is optimized to maximize energy production.

 

The development of this solar project, which commenced in October 2022, required careful consideration of various design elements by the DSD team. Balancing aesthetics and functionality, the team worked diligently to preserve the surrounding landscape while optimizing solar production. This involved strategically shifting a fence line, minimizing tree removal, and incorporating river rock to maintain the site's aesthetic appeal. Additionally, close coordination with Bayer was essential to ensure that the on-site bee colony at Whippany, vital for tree pollination, remained undisturbed.

 

Dan O'Brien, Vice President of Commercial Origination at DSD, highlights the successful integration of unique site requirements into the solar installation: "This project perfectly showcases our approach to solar development, engineering, construction, and financing. We are proud to have met the distinct needs of the site while delivering a valuable and aesthetically pleasing solution for Bayer's main U.S. offices."

 

Bayer's commitment to solar energy extends beyond this recent project. The company has been utilizing solar power for more than two decades, with the initial installation taking place at its North America Consumer Health R&D labs in Morristown, New Jersey. The completion of the Whippany and Woodland solar projects marks the company's latest investment in renewable energy in the United States. Bayer has previously announced significant ventures in this field, including its Idaho Renewable Energy Agreement with Cat Creek Energy (CCE) in the preceding year.

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