Citizens continues shift to green energy by partnering with Danish firm

Citizens Financial Group is partnering with the Danish sustainable energy firm Ørsted in a deal that will fuel the bank’s plans for achieving total renewable power use across its footprint.

Under the deal, the Providence, Rhode Island-based bank said that it will support the energy firm’s construction of the Sunflower Wind Project in Marion County, Kansas, through a long-term pledge to purchase a portion of the renewable electricity generated by the site. Ørsted began building the facility earlier this year and expects full operations sometime in 2023.

“The Sunflower Wind Project marks an important milestone for Citizens as we continue our journey to support a more sustainable future alongside our customers, colleagues, shareholders and communities. … We’re proud that this project will bring more renewable energy into the power grid and stimulate the local economy,” Beth Johnson, chief experience officer and head of ESG for the $227 billion-asset Citizens, said in a press release.

Citizens will receive renewable energy credits after delivering and reselling its share of the Kansas facility’s power. The credits will be used as support for the bank’s plan to achieve 100% renewable energy across its operational footprint.

Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg

The bank would deliver and resell its 25.8 megawatt share of the total 200 megawatts generated by the facility to local power grids and use the resulting renewable energy credits as added support for the planned benchmark of 100% sustainable power across all of its operations.

“We’re pleased to include Citizens as a new customer to Ørsted and look forward to helping Citizens achieve their renewable electricity goals for many years to come,” Ben Pratt, senior vice president of markets and revenue at Ørsted, said in the release.

Citizens was assisted in the agreement by Schneider Electric’s Sustainability Business and DLA Piper’s Energy and Natural Resources Group.

“We see a critical role for banks to play in accelerating the transition to a lower carbon economy,” Johnson said in an interview. “Across the bank, we are hard at work reducing our operational footprint, navigating climate risk and seeking opportunities to support our clients and customers as they transition themselves.”

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