February 09, 2011

Campbell Soup Company Plans 9.8 Megawatt Solar System at Ohio Plant

Campbell Soup Company announced that it has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Land Lease Agreement (LLA) with BNB Napoleon Solar LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of BNB Renewable Energy Holdings, of Exton, PA, to construct a 9.8 megawatt (MW) capacity PV solar power generation system on 60 acres of the company’s largest plant in Napoleon, Ohio.

Campbell will lease the land to BNB, which will own the system and be responsible for its financing, construction, operation and maintenance. Under the PPA, Campbell will purchase 100 percent of the electrical power generated by the system, which is expected to provide approximately 15 percent of the electricity the Napoleon Plant requires annually. FirstEnergy Solutions will purchase the Solar Renewable Energy Credits from the project. Over the course of the 20-year PPA, Campbell will save up to $4 million dollars based on U.S. Department of Energy projections for the cost of electricity in Northwest Ohio. The project will also eliminate approximately 250,000 metric tons of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

“With the signing of the agreements, the detailed design and construction of the system can now begin and we should be in operation by the end of this year,” said Robert Shober, VP – Engineering. “We are excited to be hosting this facility, which when completed will consist of approximately 24,000 high efficiency solar modules, making it one of the largest such systems in the United States.”

The State of Ohio demonstrated its support in October when the Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund agreed to issue $10.5 million in bonds to finance a portion of the Project. BNB is now in final contract negotiations with SunPower Corporation for the engineering, procurement and construction of the project. SunPower will install its SunPower® Tracker system, using high efficiency solar modules. Once financing closes and all permits are secured, construction can begin in early June and will create more than 200 construction jobs in Ohio. When complete, the system is estimated to produce more than 14.7 million kilowatt hours during the first year of operation.

“This project represents the beginning of a strong future for on-site renewable power generation among major U.S. corporations,” said Matthew Baird, a principal and founder of BNB Renewable Energy Holdings. “Campbell is at the forefront of large energy users who are taking action to help communities better meet their peak energy needs.”

The Napoleon community should also benefit from the project. “The planned solar array will benefit the Napoleon community and our Northwest Ohio neighbors. When completed, it will have the equivalent effect, in terms of reduction of carbon, of taking 2,000 passenger cars off the road each year,” said Ray Oldach, Vice President – Manufacturing at Campbell’s Napoleon plant. “This project reaffirms Campbell’s commitment to the Napoleon community and will help us continue to operate at world class manufacturing standards.”

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