Pharmaceutical and biotechnology development services company Charles River Laboratories announced today an agreement with Duke Energy which will see Charles River address 100% of its North American electricity needs with renewable energy by 2023.

Under the new virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA), Charles River will commit to 102 MW of energy over 15 years from Duke’s 250-megawatt (MW) Pisgah Ridge Solar project in Navarro County, Texas.

James C. Foster, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Charles River, said:

“We have a responsibility to reduce our climate impact. I am proud to strategically commit to clean energy, which markedly impacts our ability to reduce GHG emissions.”

According to Charles River, the deal marks a significant step towards the achievement of its 2030 goal to source 100% renewable energy globally by 2030. Gregg Belardo, Senior Director of EHS & Sustainability at Charles River, said, “the benefits of the Pisgah Ridge Solar project move us substantially closer to achieving that goal.”

Duke Energy stated that two other companies have signed separate 15-year VPPA agreements for the remaining 148 MW of solar energy generated by the Pisgah Ridge Solar project. The project is expected to achieve commercial operation by the end of 2022. The development of the project aligns with Duke’s goal, announced in April, to triple its renewable energy production by the end of the decade.

Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, said:

“We’re excited to continue to grow our Texas solar portfolio, which will provide additional energy resources for the citizens of Texas to help meet their growing demand and need for a more diverse energy infrastructure. This project demonstrates how we can address the community’s need for clean energy resources, while providing unique sustainability solutions for customers like Charles River.”

Charles River was advised on the VPPA by Schneider Electric, who assisted the Company in its project selection and negotiations.