Utility-scale wind and solar energy developer Geronimo Energy has signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Cargill to sell the output of the Prairie Wolf solar project in Illinois’s Coles County.

The VPPA is the second to be inked between the two parties. In 2018, Cargill agreed to buy 50MW of wind power from Geronimo Energy’s 200MW Crocker wind farm project in South Dakota’s Clark County.

Geronimo CEO Blake Nixon said: “In addition to being climate-positive, Prairie Wolf is also an agriculture-positive project.

“Renewable energy projects like Prairie Wolf provide much-needed stability and predictability for America’s farming communities.

“It is fitting that a company like Cargill, an agri-business committed to farmers and the communities they serve, contracts for a project that will benefit the local rural economy and further Geronimo’s own commitment to conduct business in a farmer-friendly manner.”

Located in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market, Prairie Wolf is a 200MW solar energy project. It is expected to come online by the end of next year.

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Once operational, Prairie Wolf is expected to become one of the largest solar developments east of Mississippi with a capacity to offset 285,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

In Illinois, Geronimo has developed more than 400MW operational renewable energy projects including the Green River and Walnut Ridge wind farms in Lee, Bureau, and Whiteside counties.

Cargill Global Renewable Energy director Eric Hoegger said: “We’re pleased to partner with Geronimo Energy on another renewable energy project that moves Cargill in the right direction toward our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our operations by 10% by 2025.

“This new solar power project is the latest example of how we are working with partners to change the way we power our operations, taking advantage of the economic and environmental benefits of renewable power.”