US-based suppliers of Walmart will be able to contract for renewable energy as a cohort under a new initiative launched by the retailer alongside Schneider Electric.
Called Gigaton PPA, the programme is designed to accelerate green energy adoption by the suppliers through aggregate power purchase agreements (PPAs). Under the model, smaller tranches of a large-scale PPAs will be made available for purchase by the individual programme participants.
The initiative aims to overcome some of the challenges that smaller companies face when trying to access renewable energy, such as a lack of size needed to approach the market individually and insufficient education on the specific mechanics of green energy transactions.
While Walmart will convene the initiative and invite suppliers to join, Schneider Electric will run it through its NEO Network, a community of more than 300 corporate renewable energy purchasers and solution providers. Schneider will facilitate a project selection process to advance supplier progress towards the execution of aggregated renewable energy purchases.
“It is our honour to work with Walmart on this revolutionary programme,” said Steve Wilhite, senior vice president, Schneider Electric. “The company is demonstrating significant leadership by increasing access to utility-scale renewable energy opportunities for their suppliers as part of the Project Gigaton ambition. The GPPA programme aims to bring a significant amount of new wind and solar to the grid at a time when climate action is most urgent.”
Gigaton PPA directly supports Walmart’s Project Gigaton, which aims to avoid one gigaton of carbon dioxide from the retailer’s global value chain by 2030. To date, more than 2,300 suppliers from 50 countries are participating in that project.
Walmart currently powers an estimated 29% of its operations with renewable energy, and aims to reach 50% by 2025. The company placed sixth in the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance’s list of largest US energy buyers in 2019, with a procurement of 541MW.