News | January 23, 2024

Bayer Unveils Groundbreaking Solar Energy Projects At Sites In New Jersey And California

WHIPPANY, N.J. & WOODLAND, CALIF.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

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.

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Bayer's new solar panel installation at its main U.S. offices in Whippany, NJ. (Photo: Business Wire)

Bayer's new solar panel installation at its main U.S. offices in Whippany, NJ. (Photo: Business Wire)

“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 today to employees and community leaders at local events.

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.”

About the 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.

“This project is a great example of Bayer’s commitment to achieve a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030,” says Staci A Rosenberger, Woodland & San Juan Bautista Site Operations Lead at Bayer. “With this investment, we will reduce our impact on the environment and offset electrical usage during peak demand, benefiting not only our company, but surrounding communities as well.”

“The growing prevalence of extreme weather and wildfires has underscored the need for more resilient energy solutions, said Matt Barnes, Head of Distributed Energy Solutions at Enel North America. “This project will not only increase Bayer’s energy resilience, but it will also help reduce demand on often-stressed local energy infrastructure, benefiting all energy users in the region. We’re thrilled to work with a forward-thinking, innovative partner on this project and look forward to helping Bayer achieve its sustainability targets.”

During the estimated 30-year life of the solar project, flowering cover crops, such as wildflowers, will be planted between the rows of panels for aesthetic, pollinator habitat, and soil remediation purposes.

Bayer’s Woodland site, which was established in 1972, consists of nearly 400 acres of owned and leased land. Approximately 230 plant breeders, scientists, administrators and agronomists from more than 20 different countries work at the Woodland site. At peak periods, Bayer may also employ an additional 100+ temporary workers at the site.

Woodland employees are proud of the company’s sustainability efforts and having the opportunity to make meaningful impact in the local community. Employees serve the community through active volunteer participation with local non-profit organizations as well as welcome students from surrounding schools to experience hands-on learning in the newly opened Baylab, a STEM education center. Students have opportunities to learn about sustainable agricultural practices such as integrated pest management, improved breeding methodologies, and more. In addition, the site will soon house a Bayer LifeHub, a space to support innovative sustainable agriculture and food production systems and contribute to increasing societal understanding and acceptance of new technologies transforming ag and food production systems.

About the 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.

Throughout the development of the solar project, which began in October 2022, there were a number of design nuances, which the DSD team had to account for. Marrying form and functionality, the team strategically preserved the surrounding landscaping while optimizing solar production. This involved shifting a fence line and limiting tree removal, adding river rock to match the site’s aesthetic, and coordinating closely with the team at Bayer to ensure its on-site bee colony at Whippany, which is used for tree pollination, was not disrupted.

“This installation is the perfect example of our approach to solar development, engineering, construction, and financing,” says Dan O’Brien, Vice President of Commercial Origination at DSD. “We’re proud to have met the unique needs and nuances of the site while delivering a valuable and aesthetically fitting project for Bayer’s main U.S. offices.”

Bayer has been utilizing solar energy for over 20 years, starting with a solar installation at its North America Consumer Health R&D labs in Morristown, NJ. The recent launch of the Whippany and Woodland solar projects represents the latest renewable energy efforts by the company in the U.S., which has previously announced significant projects in this space, including its Idaho Renewable Energy Agreement with Cat Creek Energy (CCE) last year.

About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2022, the Group employed around 101,000 people and had sales of 50.7 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 6.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

About DSD Renewables

DSD Renewables (DSD) is a renewable energy solutions platform enabling a more sustainable future by deploying and operating renewable energy solutions, making solar, storage, and EV charging infrastructure more accessible to commercial, industrial, and municipal partners. With in-house expertise, a broad scope of capabilities, and the proprietary DSD Connect Platform, our team provides resources to industry partners and customers across the US, accelerating the deployment and scale of renewable energy to meet aggressive sustainability and net-zero goals. To learn more, visit DSDRenewables.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Instagramand Facebook.

About Enel North America

Enel North America, part of the Enel Group, is a clean energy leader in North America and is working to electrify the economy and build a net-zero carbon future by decarbonizing energy supply, electrifying transportation, creating resilient grids, and promoting a just, equitable transition. Enel North America serves over 4,500 businesses, utilities, and cities through renewable power generation, demand response, distributed energy resources, smart e-mobility solutions and services, energy trading, advisory and consulting services, and more. Its installed portfolio includes over 9.7 GW of utility-scale renewable capacity, 690 MW / 1,036 MWh of utility-scale energy storage and 97 MW / 216 MWh of distributed energy storage capacity, 4.7 GW of demand response capacity, and 193,000 electric vehicle charging ports. Visit enelnorthamerica.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, X (Twitter), and YouTube to learn more.

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