Wind farm supplying Bimbo now operating

by Josh Sosland
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UNION HIDALGO, OAXACA, MEXICO — Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. has announced the start of operations at the Piedra Larga Wind Farm, a sustainability project that will generate power equivalent to all the electricity the company uses at its plants in Mexico.

A dedication ceremony at the wind farm was attended by Felipe Calderon, the president of Mexico; Gabino Cue, governor of the state of Oaxaca; Don Manuel Alabart Fernandez Cavada, the Spanish Ambassador to Mexico; and a number of federal, state and municipal authorities.

Daniel Servitje, chief executive officer of Grupo Bimbo, described Piedra Larga as the world’s largest wind farm specifically dedicated to supply power to a food company.

“As a leading company at a global level, we are sensitive to environmental challenges; hence, we strive to contribute through innovative and purposeful actions to reduce the environmental footprint,” Mr. Servitje said. “Piedra Larga is an example of it.”

The farm has a capacity of 90 megawatts — 45 wind turbines with 2 megawatts apiece. Initially the farm will supply more than 40 Bimbo facilities around the country with electric power.

“Piedra Larga will also supply ‘Bimbo’s Friends,’ outstanding among them are, the Papalote Children’s Museum that has become a strategic partner for sustainability initiatives and programs, together with Frialsa Frigoríficos and Grupo Calidra,” Bimbo said.

The company said the farm, on an annual basis, will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 180,000 tons, equivalent to the absorption capacity of close to five million mature trees, or 12 thousand hectares of forests, or Likewise, it is equivalent to what is emitted with the burning of 65 million liters of diesel.

The wind farm was built by DEMEX, the Mexican affiliate of the Spanish company Renovalia. Construction was made possible by an alliance of financial partners as well as an agreement with Bimbo, committing the company “as the consuming party for at least 18 years and DEMEX as the investing party,” Bimbo explained.

Grupo Bimbo did not participate in the $200 million project as an investor, said Francisco Avelar, Bimbo’s director of financial planning.

“(Bimbo’s) long-term commitment to consume the energy generated by the wind farm will bring about social, environmental and economic benefits for the company,” he said.

Mr. Calderon, the outgoing president of Mexico, said the partnership helped the country achieve an objective to generate a quarter of its electric power from renewable sources.

“Not only have we attained this goal, but surpassed it,” he said. “Today, in Mexico, thanks to the joint collaboration between the private sector and the government, 26% of the electric power comes from renewable sources.”
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READER COMMENTS (1)

By Herb Kilian 11/6/2012 8:28:25 AM
This seems to be purely a PR stunt by Bimbo. They have no direct investments into the wind farm and claim be the "customer" of the generated power simply because their usage happens to match the output of the farm. Bimbo is a bystander in this deal.