MILLIGAN - A new wind farm that will be built near Milligan will help a corporate food giant reduce its carbon footprint.

Hormel Foods Corporation announced Wednesday that it has signed a virtual power purchase agreement with Kinect Energy Group for power generated by a wind farm scheduled to open next year near Milligan.

"As a leading corporate citizen in our industry, we are inspired by projects that minimize environmental impacts and align with the interests of our customers and consumers around the world," Tom Raymond, director of environmental sustainability at Hormel Foods said. "This agreement supports our company's environmental sustainability goals and is a testament to our commitment and support of renewable energy."

The virtual power purchase agreement allows Hormel to pay a fixed rate for power produced by the wind farm, which is then sold at market rates.

If the power sells for more than what Hormel is paying, it gets the excess. If it sells for less, Hormel must make up the difference.

Hormel said in a press release Wednesday that the energy generated by the Milligan wind farm will bring the portion of its energy generated by wind power to nearly 50%.

In addition, the company said the project will result in a reduction of about 197,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The wind farm will produce 74 megawatts of power annually.

Hormel Foods also supports renewable energy by subscribing to community solar gardens at five manufacturing locations, including a co-sponsorship with Westar Energy for its first community solar garden near Wichita, KS, where the company manufactures most of its bacon products.

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