Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) has signed an agreement with utility company, One Energy, to install five 2.3 megawatt wind turbines at MPC’s renewable diesel facility in Dickinson, North Dakota. The wind turbines will provide energy to the facility and help further decrease its carbon emissions profile.
MPC contracted with One Energy to develop, own, and operate the turbines. One Energy will provide the capital for the project and MPC will pay a fixed price for the wind-generated electricity delivered by One Energy for a period of 20 years.
The turbines are expected to generate more than 40 million kilowatt-hours of energy each year, providing approximately 45 per cent of the renewable diesel facility’s electricity needs.
MPC Executive Vice President of Refining, Ray Brooks, said the project is a win for lower-carbon fuels and company performance.
“At Marathon Petroleum, we are focused on delivering essential energy products to the world in ways that create shared value for our people, business partners, customers, communities, governments and shareholders,” Brooks said.
“Lowering the carbon intensity of the renewable fuels we produce at our Dickinson facility helps us to capture additional value in the markets we serve and enhance the overall sustainability of our operations.”
Lowering the carbon intensity of renewable fuels produced at the Dickinson facility also aligns with MPC’s objective of reducing its company-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 30 per cent below 2014 levels by 2030.
MPC is the first independent refining company in the U.S. to link achieving such a GHG goal to its executive and employee compensation.
One Energy Chief Executive Officer, Jereme Kent, said the project will also contribute to MPC’s role as a good neighbour in Dickinson.
“This project has been designed to provide low-cost, clean energy right from Marathon’s own property, while also investing in the community,” Kent said.
“For each turbine, One Energy will provide a $5,000 ‘Megawatt Scholarship’ to local high school graduates pursuing two- or four-year degrees in science, technology, engineering or math. That’s $25,000 for every year the turbines are operating.”
The wind-power installation at the Dickinson facility is not MPC’s first foray into renewable power generation. The company installed a 6,000-panel solar array in its headquarters city of Findlay, Ohio, in 2012 to study the potential for using solar energy in its operations.
Today, the company powers dozens of pipeline components in remote areas with solar-powered units.
For several years, the company has used a wind turbine to power a pipeline pump station in Harpster, Ohio, and learnings from that installation helped inform its decision to proceed with wind power at Dickinson.
Each turbine at the facility will have a hub height of 262 feet (approx. 79 metres) and a tip height of just over 400 feet (roughly 121 metres), and will comply with local and state zoning requirements.
One Energy is beginning local and state permitting processes, and the project is expected to begin operating in the fourth quarter of 2022.
MPC’s Dickinson plant is the second-largest renewable diesel production facility in the U.S., and has a production capacity of approximately 184 million gallons per year.
The wind-generating capacity of the turbines at Dickinson will make it one of the largest on-site industrial power generators in the U.S.
If the turbines were operational today, they and the Harpster turbine together would rank MPC’s on-site industrial power-generation capacity 11th on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership Top 30 On-Site Generation list.