United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE: UNFI) announced today that in collaboration with solar project developer, Pine Gates Renewables (Pine Gate) as well as U.S. Bank, it is investing in Trent River Solar, a 108.5 megawatt (MW) solar facility located in Jones County, North Carolina.
The site, which sits on 640 acres, will contain over 800,000 solar panels and create enough energy to provide power to over 14,000 homes. The solar project will support 300 local and regional jobs and is expected to be completed and placed in service later this month. UNFI will not acquire the energy created at Trent River nor the renewable energy certificates.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to sponsor Trent River Solar and are pleased to work with Pine Gate Renewables and U.S. Bank to bring this project to life to create local clean energy and jobs,” said Steven L. Spinner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “UNFI has work ahead of us to reduce our emissions and we look forward to applying knowledge learned from this project to our pursuits of climate action.”
Pine Gate is a leading renewable energy company focused on project development and strategic financing of utility-scale solar and storage sites throughout the United States. It currently manages 770MW of operational assets, with more than 12GW in active development and has raised over $2 billion in project capital to date. The company’s Pine Gate Impact initiative contributes to multiple non-profit organizations aimed at improving the environment and local communities. Headquartered in Asheville, NC, Pine Gate Renewables was awarded a top spot on Inc. magazine’s Best Workplaces list in 2021, named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list in 2021, awarded the gold medal in the energy category for Inc.’s Best in Business 2020 list and ranked #6 on Inc. 500’s list of “Fastest Growing Energy Companies” in 2018.
“We’re thankful to all our partners for helping us get Trent River off the ground, and we’re proud that it will be one of the first projects to go online under Duke Energy’s competitive procurement of renewable energy (CPRE) program,” said Ben Catt, CEO of Pine Gate Renewables. “Locally, Trent River produces dozens of jobs through the construction process and ultimately it will deliver clean energy to the community.”
“We’re excited to help UNFI through this unique approach,” said Alicia Wondolowski, project manager on USBCDC’s syndications team. “Solar investments like this are a tangible way to measure reductions in carbon footprint and combat climate change, and that will have a positive impact on our environment for years to come.”
Better for All
UNFI is committed to setting a science-based emissions reduction target, reducing distribution center energy intensity, and increasing renewable electricity. For more information about our climate-related goals and strategies please visit: https://betterforall.unfi.com/.
About United Natural Foods
UNFI is North America's premier food wholesaler delivering the widest variety of products to customer locations throughout North America including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, ecommerce retailers and food service customers. By providing this deeper 'full-store' selection and compelling brands for every aisle, UNFI is uniquely positioned to deliver great food, more choices and fresh thinking to customers everywhere. Today, UNFI is the largest publicly traded grocery distributor in the United States. To learn more about how UNFI is Moving Food Forward, visit www.unfi.com.