Materials maker Covestro has signed its first major renewable energy deal for its U.S. operations.
The agreement between Covestro — based in Leverkusen, Germany, with U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh — and Danish clean energy leader Orsted A/S will supply 90 megawatts of power to Covestro's production site in Baytown, Texas.
The 15-year agreement secures power from the Mockingbird Solar Center in Lamar County, Texas. The deal is expected to offset more than 150 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually and will reduce Scope 2 emissions from Baytown, which is Covestro's third largest global production site.
The agreement with Orsted "clearly signals our commitment to the use of renewable energy," Covestro CEO Markus Steilemann said in a news release. "The inclusion of renewable energy to help power our facilities is a critical component to reducing our Scope 2 emissions and becoming operationally climate neutral by 2035."
Covestro set its climate neutrality goals in 2022. Officials said that one major lever to reach these goals is energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power.
Covestro also recently attained ISCC PLUS certification in Baytown. ISCC is an internationally recognized sustainability certification for biomass and bioenergy. The global standard applies to all stages of the value chain.
That certification and the Orsted agreement "represent our focus on sustainability and the strategic path we have set to minimize our carbon footprint across Covestro's operations in the United States," according to Haakan Jonsson, chairman and president of Covestro LLC, the firm's U.S. business unit.
Orsted origination head Monica Testa said that the Mockingbird Solar Center "is a unique project that represents both preservation and progress." The clean energy produced by the solar center will help Covestro to decarbonize its operations, she added, while the conservation of rare native tallgrass prairie habitat supports plant and wildlife biodiversity in the region.
Edison Energy worked with Covestro to broker the virtual power agreement with Orsted. The Mockingbird Solar Center will produce enough clean energy to power roughly 80,000 homes and is expected to begin operation in late 2024. At that time, Covestro will begin the agreement, which represents nearly 20 percent of the center's capacity.
In late 2019, Covestro reached a supply agreement with Orsted for electricity from offshore wind turbines in Germany. Orsted will provide green electricity for ten years to supply Covestro's production sites in Germany. That power will be generated in a newly built wind farm off the island of Borkum, Germany.
At the end of 2022, Covestro had already covered 12 percent of its global energy requirements with electricity from renewable sources. That figure is expected to rise to 16 to 18 percent in 2023.
Covestro is a global supplier of PC resins and films, thermoplastic polyurethane, PU materials and foams and other specialty chemicals and materials. Covestro employs almost 18,000 and posted sales of $19.6 billion in its 2022 fiscal year.