BOSTON , June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Enel Green Power North America, Inc. and HP Hood LLC today announced an agreement for Hood to purchase 90 GWh of wind energy each year, making it one of the only dairy companies in the US to execute such a contract. Through the 12-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA), Hood will purchase the electricity delivered to the grid by a 25 MW portion of Enel Green Power's Azure Sky Wind project in Texas . The agreement is Hood's first renewable energy VPPA and comes as the company celebrates its 175 th year with continued innovation, growth, and a renewed commitment to sustainability.

Over the life of the VPPA, the Azure Sky Wind project will generate approximately 90 gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable electricity annually, addressing 33 percent of the electricity used across all 13 of Hood's owned manufacturing facilities in 2020. Hood was advised in their selection and negotiation process by Schneider Electric.

" The partnership with Hood demonstrates how industry leading businesses are putting sustainability directly into the hands of consumers ," said Georgios Papadimitriou , Head of Enel Green Power in the US and Canada . " Increasingly companies like Hood are turning to renewable energy as an immediate and cost-effective way to help achieve their sustainability goals, creating value for their business and customers alike."

The VPPA is a milestone in Hood's sustainability commitment. From the quality and safety of products, to environmental impact, to the safety and wellbeing of employees, Hood has a long, proud legacy of contributing to a sustainable future. Since 2011, Hood has disclosed its annual greenhouse gas emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), embarked on a 1.8-megawatt solar field project in Western MA, installed a cogeneration plant to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, and increased energy savings and provided electrical resiliency for their facility in Winchester, VA . The company's Agawam plant was also the first fluid dairy processor to be awarded Energy Star certification. This year, the company will launch a new sustainability strategy to optimize operations, bolster responsible sourcing, and reduce emissions. Hood will also continue to support the U.S. dairy industry's goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 through the company's adoption of the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment.

"At Hood, sustainability means evolving and developing our business for the long-term. This VPPA is an important investment in our future and a significant step in reducing our climate impact," said Hood President and CFO Gary Kaneb . "We believe sustainability strengthens relationships and consumer trust, and we are committed to the environmental actions to help us achieve that vision."

Located west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Throckmorton County, TX, the Azure Sky Wind and Storage project includes a 350 MW wind project paired with approximately 137 MW of battery storage and is expected to be operational in the first-half of 2022. In addition to Hood, Enel Green Power will also sell the electricity produced by a portion of the Azure Sky Wind project to Kellogg Company , MilliporeSigma, Akamai Technologies, Synopsys and Uber.

Enel Green Power North America is a leading developer, long-term owner and operator of renewable energy plants in North America, with a presence in 15 US states and one Canadian province. The company operates 60 plants with a managed capacity of over 6.7 GW powered by renewable wind, geothermal and solar energy.

Enel Green Power , within the Enel Group, is dedicated to the development and operation of renewables across the world, with a presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector with a managed capacity of around 49 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable power plants.

Founded in 1846, today Hood is one of the largest food and beverage manufacturers in the United States . For 175 years, the name Hood has been synonymous with fresh, quality products that taste great. Hood's portfolio of national and super-regional brands and franchise products includes Hood®, Simply Smart® Milk, Heluva Good!®, Planet Oat®, LACTAID®, Blue Diamond Almond Breeze®, Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes, and more. For more information, please visit Hood.com.