Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) today announced it has signed an agreement with Southern Power, a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider and subsidiary of Southern Company, for Southern Power’s 200-megawatt (MW) Reading Wind Facility. This initiative, which will offset up to 12 percent of Royal Caribbean’s emissions beginning in 2020, is the latest addition to the company’s extensive sustainability efforts, which include programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovations at sea and in port.
This project, Southern Power’s eleventh wind facility, is located in Osage and Lyon Counties, Kansas, and is Southern Power’s first to be validated as a carbon offset project under the Verified Carbon Standard. The agreement with Royal Caribbean provides Southern Power with the economic basis to construct the project. Royal Caribbean was advised on the execution of this agreement by Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services.
“This agreement complements our longstanding strategic initiatives to reduce the company’s emissions and become a more sustainable operator,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint, both in the short and long term, and thanks to our partnership with Southern Power this is the latest step in our journey.”
The facility is expected to generate roughly 760,000 megawatt hours per year over the duration of the 12-year agreement, which translates to enough clean energy to offset 10-12 percent of Royal Caribbean’s annual carbon emissions starting in 2020. With this innovative program, Royal Caribbean is able to apply a new approach while continuing its primary initiatives to advance sustainability efforts across the company’s fleet.
“Southern Power is thrilled to partner with Royal Caribbean to provide the company with a carbon offset project that will further complement Royal Caribbean’s expansive sustainability initiatives,” said Southern Power President and CEO Mark Lantrip. “Reading Wind celebrates the first project in our joint development agreement with RES America Developments Inc. (RES), qualifying for 100 percent production tax credits and is an important addition to Southern Power’s portfolio. We’re proud to support Royal Caribbean’s innovative approach toward advancing its sustainability through this project.”
The 200-MW project was originally developed by RES who will lead the construction of the project alongside Southern Power. Reading Wind is expected to consist of 62 wind turbines manufactured by Siemens Gamesa. The project is expected to break ground in the second quarter of 2019 and is expected to be complete by the second quarter of 2020. Southern Power will operate and maintain the facility upon completion.
Royal Caribbean’s Commitment to Sustainability
Royal Caribbean has a longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship which the company expanded in 2016 to set ambitious and measurable goals to reduce the company’s environmental footprint. In addition to the agreement with Southern Power, Royal Caribbean is also employing several technologies and innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create more efficient vessels, including:
Royal Caribbean also encourages guests to make a positive impact on the environment through Save the Waves, its onboard stewardship program focused on reducing waste; reusing and recycling; and properly disposing of remaining waste. For more information about Royal Caribbean’s sustainability programs, please visit Sustainability.RCLCorporate.com.
About Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) is a global cruise vacation company that controls and operates four global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises and Silversea Cruises. We are also a 50 percent joint venture owner of the German brand TUI Cruises, a 49 percent shareholder in the Spanish brand Pullmantur and a 36 percent shareholder in the Chinese brand SkySea Cruises. Together, these brands operate a combined total of 60 ships with an additional fourteen on order as of August 31, 2018. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on all seven continents. Additional information can be found on www.rclcorporate.com.
About Southern Power
Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider meeting the electricity needs of municipalities, electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities and other energy customers. Southern Power and its subsidiaries own 50 facilities operating or under development in 12 states with more than 12,500 MW of generating capacity in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.
About Southern Company
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is nationally recognized as a leading energy company, with 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity and 1,500 billion cubic feet of combined natural gas consumption and throughput volume serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries as of December 31, 2017. We operate nearly 200,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines and more than 80,000 miles of natural gas pipeline as of December 31, 2017. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in four states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers in 11 states across America and a nationally recognized provider of customized energy solutions, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are creating new products and services for the benefit of customers. We are building the future of energy by developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, advanced carbon capture technologies, natural gas, renewables, energy efficiency and storage technology. Southern Company has been named by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, recognized among the Top 50 Companies for Diversity and the No. 1 Company for Progress by DiversityInc and designated as one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes magazine. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.
Cautionary Notes Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the construction and subsequent operation of the Reading Wind Facility and Royal Caribbean’s offset of carbon emissions. Southern Company and Southern Power caution that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company and Southern Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in each of Southern Company's and Southern Power's Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the ability to control costs and avoid cost and schedule overruns during the development, construction, and operation of facilities, to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, and to satisfy any environmental performance standards and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives; ongoing renewable energy partnerships and development agreements; and potential business strategies, including acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, which cannot be assured to be completed or beneficial to Southern Company or Southern Power. Southern Company and Southern Power expressly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking information.