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Kimberly-Clark to power North American mills with wind energy


September 14, 2017
By P&PC Staff

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Sep. 14, 2017 – Kimberly-Clark announced today a commitment to renewable energy with agreements to annually purchase approximately 1,000,000 megawatt hours of electricity from two new wind power projects in Texas and Oklahoma.

Kimberly-Clark has entered longterm power purchase agreements to take 120 MW or 78 per cent of electricity to be generated by the Rock Falls Wind project being developed by EDF Renewables in northern Oklahoma and 125 MW or 42 per cent of the electricity to be generated by the Santa Rita Wind Energy Center being built by Invenergy in West Texas.

The renewable energy supplied by the wind farms is equivalent to about one-third of the electricity needs of Kimberly-Clark’s North American manufacturing operations. This reduces its GHG emissions by up to 550,000 metric tonnes annually — the equivalent to removing 116,178 passenger vehicles from the road — and will enable the company to surpass its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal four years earlier than anticipated.

“These agreements mark Kimberly-Clark’s first use of utility-scale renewable energy and are a step-change in our energy and climate strategy to reduce climate change impacts, improve operating efficiency and benefit cost savings,” said Lisa Morden, global head of sustainability at Kimberly-Clark. “Adding wind-generated electricity to the energy mix will enable the company to achieve more than a 25 per cent reduction in GHG emissions in 2018, which is four years ahead of the original 2022 target to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent from 2005 levels.”

The Rock Falls Wind project will become operational by the end of the year, and the Santa Rita facility is expected to begin commercial operation by the second quarter of 2018.

“These two renewable energy projects, combined with a number of other energy initiatives across the company, put Kimberly-Clark on-track to deliver significant multimillion dollar cost savings from energy and climate projects by 2022,” Morden continued. “It’s a powerful demonstration of sustainability initiatives having both great environmental and business benefits.”

The two renewable energy projects build on work undertaken by Kimberly-Clark to reduce its carbon footprint and create business value through greater energy efficiency, conservation and alternative energy programs including:

• Six large-scale electricity cogeneration facilities with waste heat recovery, including a seventh project recently announced and under construction at the company’s Mobile, Ala., manufacturing facility (due to start-up in 2019).
• Four biomass thermal energy generating plants that provide steam for the company’s tissue operations.
• More than 350 energy initiatives completed by the company across its operations since 2015.