ATCHISON, KAS. — MGP Ingredients, Inc., a supplier of specialty wheat proteins and starches and distilled spirits, has made a significant commitment to renewable energy. The company on April 1 signed a three-year agreement with Westar Energy, Inc., under which MGPI will source 100% of its electricity needs from renewable wind power. The commitment will be carried out through Westar Wind, a Green-e certified program offered by Westar Energy.
As part of the initiative, MGPI said total electric usage at its facilities in Atchison, Kas., and Lawrenceburg, Ind., will be offset by green energy provided by Westar’s wind resources in Kansas.
“We are proud and excited to enter into this agreement, which represents a significant step in our efforts to realize both the direct and overarching benefits of renewable energy technologies,” said Augustus C. (Gus) Griffin, president and chief executive officer of MGPI. “Among these is our ability to take on a more prominent and proactive role in further supporting environmental sustainability through greater use of clean energy. This initiative is consistent with the long-term view we take for our business and reflects our enduring commitment to our communities and social responsibility.”
Under the agreement, which may be renewed at the end of three years, MGPI will purchase renewable energy credits from Westar. Wind energy equal in value to the credits will then be sourced from wind farms in Kansas and added to the overall energy grid system, MGPI said. The arrangement makes MGPI the largest Westar customer to commit to 100% renewable electric energy.
Westar has 7,800 megawatts of electric generation capacity that includes renewables and traditional power sources with half the electricity supplied to its more than 700,000 customers coming from emissions free sources: nuclear, wind and solar, with a third coming from renewables.
“Westar applauds MGP for its commitment to the environment and social responsibility,” said Jeff Beasley, vice-president of customer care, Westar Energy. “It’s great to provide Kansas’ wind energy to help our customers reach their sustainability goals, even reaching beyond Kansas.”Green-e Energy is a certification program for renewable energy. For nearly two decades, Green-e Energy has provided oversight for voluntary renewable energy transactions in North America.