Rivian (RIVN) using wind energy to power 75% of its Illinois factory

Rivian (RIVN) using wind energy to power 75% of its Illinois factory

Rivian (RIVN) signed a new Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) today to source 50 MW of clean electricity from Apex Clean Energy’s proposed Goose Creek Wind Farm. The EV marker will use the wind energy purchase and its other renewable energy initiatives to power up to 75% of its Normal, Illinois, manufacturing facility.

Rivian says it “exists to create products and services that help our planet transition to carbon-neutral energy and transportation” The company is known for making adventure-oriented electric vehicles. But Rivian also claims, “in order to create the change we seek, we go beyond what is expected of us.”

To put its money where its mouth is, so to say, Rivian launched a fund called Forever that invests 1% of its equity in focusing on high-impact climate initiatives, emphasizing the preservation and restoration of wildlands, waterways, and oceans.

The EV maker mentions that the industry and consumers cannot continue down the path they have created over the past century, noting:

On our current path, we will fully exhaust this stored energy in only a few more generations and, in the process, carbonize our atmosphere and damage natural ecosystems to such a degree that life as we know it will not be possible.

Building zero-emission electric vehicles is a priority, with transportation leading the US economy (27%) in toxic greenhouse gas emissions. However, burning fossil fuels for electricity is a close second since it produces around 25%.

Rivian’s Normal, Illinois, factory is equipped to produce up to 150,000 EVs annually, yet the company only expects to produce 25,000 this year. There’s a lot of wasted energy and GHG emissions as Rivian scales production capabilities at the facility as a result.

To help offset this and create the change Rivian seeks in the auto industry, the EV maker’s first large-scale clean energy purchase will help utilize wind energy to reduce its carbon impact.

Rivian R1T outside the company’s manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois Source: Rivian

Rivian utilizing wind energy at Illinois EV facility

In a press release Monday, Rivian announced it has signed into a PPA for 50 MW of electricity with Apex Clean Energy.

The wind energy will be supplied from the renewable energy company’s proposed Goose Creek Wind Farm, which is within an hour’s drive from Rivian’s Ilinois plant.

Andrew Peterman, Rivian Director of Renewable Energy, summed it up perfectly, saying:

About a third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, with nearly another third from electricity generation. We have a tremendous opportunity at Rivian to help tackle emissions beyond the tailpipe to support decarbonization of manufacturing and charging of electric vehicles.

Rivian says the wind energy PPA, in addition to other clean energy sourcing and on-site generation, will power up to 75% of its manufacturing facility.

Apex is in the midst of securing local permits and approvals for the project. The Goose Creek project is planned to house up to 50 wind turbines across around 20,000 acres of land. When the project is complete (expected to be operational in 2024), it will be capable of producing 300 MW of clean energy annually, enough to power 99,000 US homes.

Meanwhile, Rivian strives to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.

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