Two new solar energy projects, each designed to reduce energy costs while promoting sustainability
A new solar array installation at Bayer’s vegetable research and development site in Woodland, CA will provide 70% of the site’s electrical energy demand.
“With this new installation, the Woodland site is the most onsite solar-powered operation within Bayer globally,” says Enrique Wehlen, Head of Sustainability, Safety, Health & Environments (SSHE) North America at Bayer.
The Woodland solar power project follows a recently completed solar installation at Bayer’s main U.S. offices in Whippany, NJ. The two new solar energy projects, each designed to reduce energy costs while promoting sustainability, will be unveiled.
Both projects align with Bayer’s sustainability commitments to reach carbon neutrality by 2030 and to have net-zero waste across its entire value chain by 2050. A key strategy to achieving Bayer’s reduction targets, which have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, is to purchase 100% sustainable renewable electricity by 2030. Bayer has put a large focus on leveraging energy efficiency and clean energy resources to achieve its robust, science-based sustainability targets. In accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Bayer aims to continuously reduce GHG emissions within the company and along its entire value chain. Renewable energy does not produce carbon emissions as part of the electricity generation process, dramatically reducing the total GHGs emitted.
“These solar installations are a strong signal to our employees, customers and communities where we live and operate of our commitment to GHG emission reduction,” says Delf Bintakies, Global Head of Sustainability, Safety, Health & Environments (SSHE) at Bayer. “Bayer sets specific criteria for its own procurement of green energy. This includes the proximity of energy production facilities to Bayer sites, the use of new sources of generation and a focus on wind and solar power.”
Woodland, CA solar installation
In Woodland, Bayer worked with Enel North America to complete a 2.7 MW solar and 1 MW / 2 MWh energy storage system that will power 70 percent of the site’s electrical energy. Occupying approximately 10 of the 210 acres of company-owned property supporting agricultural research, the system utilizes ground-mounted solar panels capable of generating nearly two megawatts of electricity. Complementing the solar array is a bank of batteries serving as storage for excess power to be used to offset evening peak power demand when solar generation subsides. Eight Electric Vehicle chargers will be installed for employee use later this year. Located in a region historically prone to rolling blackouts and grid disruptions, the solar-plus-storage system will help increase Bayer’s energy and operational resilience, while also reducing its carbon footprint and demand on local energy infrastructure.
Whippany, NJ solar installation
In Whippany, Bayer partnered with DSD Renewables (DSD) to complete a 1.7 MW ground mount solar installation that will offset approximately 25 percent of the Whippany site’s total annual usage. The installation is comprised of 3,600 modules that will follow or “track” the sun’s path from East to West each day. The design, which was completed in December 2023, helps maximize the energy the system can produce.