Ardent Mills, the Denver, Colorado-based flour milling and ingredient company, has signed a 25-year agreement with US Solar to purchase an expected 1.8 million kWh annually under a subscription plan supporting US Solar’s Goodhue County, Minnesota, solar gardens. The subscription plan is expected to reduce energy costs at Ardent Mills’ Hastings Mill, the first operating mill in Minnesota. Although the solar gardens will not directly provide power to the Hastings Mill, Ardent Mills’ agreement to subscribe to these solar gardens is crucial in enabling the gardens to be built, bringing more solar energy onto the local electrical grid.
Ardent Mills is actively engaged in the pursuit of sustainability improvements to benefit communities, customers and consumers. The company is committed to being an industry leader in corporate responsibility in all aspects of operations, continuing the efforts established by the company’s legacy operations and parent companies.
“Ardent Mills’ subscription is key to US Solar’s development of the solar gardens in Goodhue County. These gardens will bring more clean, local solar energy onto the electric grid,” says Martin Mobley, US Solar CEO.
Other subscribers to US Solar’s gardens include residents and public entities, including many Minnesota cities and schools. The first garden has started construction and is anticipated to be online later this year.
“These projects are in line with our commitment to sustainable energy and will further bolster the renewable energy market in Minnesota,” says Jeff Zyskowski, VP supply chain at Ardent Mills and the senior leadership team sponsor regarding sustainability. “Supporting renewable energy in any capacity is a priority for Ardent Mills and critical piece of our strategic plan for growth.”
The company has built a team to conceptualize, research and implement projects that will make a positive environmental impact, including hiring a full-time sustainability lead, Phoenix Dugger.
Last year, Ardent Mills also invested in sustainable energy solutions in Kansas at its Newton and Wichita community mills. The facilities enrolled in Westar’s new Green Energy Program, under which they anticipate receiving a substantial portion of their energy from the newly constructed Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center. By choosing renewable energy, Ardent Mills estimates that it will reduce its total carbon footprint by over 29,000 metric tons each year.