L’Oreal continues its energy makeover with two new solar projects

Personal producets maker L’Oréal USA announced Sept. 20 that it will exceed its carbon emission reduction goals and build two large-scale solar projects at the company’s manufacturing facilities in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and Florence, Kentucky.

The two projects – among the largest in each state – represent an acceleration of the company’s original goals to reduce its CO2 emissions by 60% from its 2005 baseline. L’Oréal USA will achieve an 80% reduction, and plans to achieve 100% renewable electricity for its manufacturing in the United States through the projects and also the purchase of additional, locally-sourced renewable energy certificates (RECs).

“Reducing our CO2 emissions by 80% and achieving 100% renewable electricity for our U.S. manufacturing is a major milestone for L’Oréal USA,” said Fréderic Rozé, CEO of L’Oréal Americas. 

The Florence plant, in partnership with Scenic Hill Solar, will house the largest commercial solar array in Kentucky at 1.5 MW. Construction of the Florence project will start in late 2016. It will consist of approximately 5,000 solar panels. The 687,000 sq. ft. plant, where haircare products are made for the Garnier, L’Oréal Paris, Matrix, and Redken brands, is the company’s largest manufacturing site in the U.S. L’Oréal USA has been operational in Kentucky for more than 25 years.

The North Little Rock plant, also in partnership with Scenic Hill Solar, will house a 1.2-MW array that will be the third largest commercial solar array and the fourth largest solar project in Arkansas. The 4,000 solar panel installation in North Little Rock is scheduled to be operational by mid 2017. L’Oréal first installed a solar array at its North Little Rock plant in 2012, which now supplies the equivalent of 100% of its outdoor lighting needs (18,000 kWh/year). The 446,691 sq. ft. factory has operated in the state for over four decades.

“We are delighted to partner with L’Oréal, a demonstrated sustainability leader, and help them to simultaneously meet their bold goals for clean, renewable energy and reduce their electricity costs,” said Bill Halter, CEO of Scenic Hill Solar.

L’Oréal USA’s commitment to solar began in 2011 with an installation at its Piscataway, New Jersey, manufacturing facility. With the Sept. 20 announcement, L’Oréal USA will now boast 16 solar installations across the country generating a total of 13.5 MW of energy. 

L’Oréal USA is the largest subsidiary of the L’Oréal Group, a leading beauty company. The company is headquartered in New York City, employs more than 10,000 people, and operates administrative, research, manufacturing and distribution facilities across 13 states, including Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Washington.

Scenic Hill Solar provides clients with either lower priced electricity under contract or turnkey delivery of solar power plants, depending on the specific needs of the client. Scenic Hill Solar headquarters are located in Little Rock, Arkansas.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.