Russia’s largest milk producer EkoNiva Group is switching to renewable energy at its production sites. Its dairy farm in Dobrino, Voronezh Region will be the group’s first site to be fully powered by green energy. The project is carried out in partnership with NovaWind, Rosatom’s wind power division.
NovaWind operates wind farms in the Stavropol Krai, Rostov Region, and Republic of Adygea. The fact that power comes from renewable sources will be confirmed by a non-regulated bilateral contract, which is required to be concluded in accordance with the wholesale electricity market rules.
EkoNiva will become one of the country’s first raw milk producers to have a production site that buys exclusively wind power and whose energy needs are entirely covered by renewables. This will greatly reduce its indirect greenhouse gas emissions. The supply of green power is starting in September 2022.
The transition to renewable energy at Dobrino will enable a reduction in indirect greenhouse gas emissions by around 1,000 tons of CO2 per annum.
Following the pilot project in the Voronezh Region, EkoNiva Group will consider the possibility and feasibility of renewable energy transition at other sites. All of its capital expenditures will also be planned to incorporate green energy options.
“Low-carbon wind energy helps businesses reduce their carbon footprint and achieve sustainable development goals. We are ready to provide all-around support to our partners in mitigating industrial impact on the environment. Transition to renewable energy is a pivotal step in the development of any business. Hopefully, this pilot project will be a starting point of long-term cooperation between our companies,” NovaWind CEO Grigoriy Nazarov pointed out.
“EkoNiva Group has made renewable and sustainable energy part of its ESG agenda. One of our primary goals is to minimize environmental impact of EkoNiva’s operations by cutting greenhouse gas emissions. We are happy to make our business more responsible with our partners from NovaWind,” said Lyubov Aksyonova, Head of GR and ESG at EkoNiva Group.
NovaWind is Rosatom's wind power division consolidating efforts of the Russian nuclear corporation in advanced areas of the energy generation technology. Established in September 2017, the company accumulates Rosatom’s competencies in wind power generation, from design and construction to mechanical engineering and operation of wind farms. As of today, NovaWind has commissioned 720 MW of wind power capacity. By 2027, Rosatom will put a total of about 1.7 GW of wind capacity in operation.
Renewable power is supplied under non-regulated bilateral contracts made in accordance with the Wholesale Electricity and Capacity Market Rules, with the generator required to specify the delivery point group used for renewable power sale. All information on power volumes sold and parties involved is stored in a non-regulated bilateral contract register updated monthly by NP Market Council Association. This type of contracts is increasingly common in the Russian wholesale electricity market as the country’s renewable generation is evolving. By concluding them, responsible consumers confirm the use of green energy in their operations. Globally, direct contracts with generators, known as power purchase agreements (PPA), are widespread among businesses buying electricity from renewable sources. The use of bilateral contracts for confirmation of renewable energy use is an established practice that meets the reporting standards of the Climate Disclosure Project (CDP).
EkoNiva is a leading milk producer in Russia and Europe, ranked third globally. Established in 1994, the company is known for its highest corporate responsibility standards. EkoNiva places special emphasis on animal welfare, environmental protection, employee training, and development of rural communities in which it operates. Two years ago, the group adopted a sustainable development strategy based on the UN sustainable development goals and international ESG standards.