UnitedHealth Group launches new renewable energy investments to support emissions reduction targets

March 26, 2024
  • UnitedHealth Group's first-ever virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) and solar energy project will match almost 90% of the company's US electrical load.

UnitedHealth Group is advancing a sustainable future through two new renewable energy initiatives: a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Ørsted and a separate investment in a renewable solar project owned by Swift Current Energy.

What it is

A VPPA is a long-term power contract where a company pays a renewable energy supplier an agreed-upon price for the energy produced. This means companies can match their energy consumption with energy from renewable sources, helping to reduce their emissions. The company keeps the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) — proof that renewable energy was produced and purchased — for each megawatt of energy produced. In return, suppliers get funding that helps them “green the grid" by increasing total renewable energy capacity.

Tres Bahias Solar energy fields

The details

UnitedHealth Group’s first-ever VPPA will buy power from Ørsted’s Mockingbird Solar Center in Lamar County, Texas, which will achieve commercial operation later this year. Through the 15-year, 250-megawatt agreement, UnitedHealth Group will purchase clean energy — enough to power an estimated 54,000 U.S. homes — generated by the solar facility and receive the RECs through 2039.

In addition, UnitedHealth Group has invested $81 million in the Tres Bahias solar project — the largest project of its kind in Calhoun County, Texas. The Tres Bahias project is now operational and generating enough energy to power 40,000 U.S. homes annually. UnitedHealth Group bought RECs from 70 megawatt-hours (MWH) of capacity from the project, resulting in pollution-free energy annually for seven years. Swift Current Energy will be the long-term owner and operator of this project.

The Tres Bahias solar project is already producing enough pollution-free energy to power 40,000 U.S. homes for a year, and will reduce emissions by the equivalent of 75,000 cars

Why it matters

Taken together, these projects will supply UnitedHealth Group with enough renewable energy for:

  • 89% of our U.S. electrical load*
  • 58% of our total global energy load*

*2021 baseline




“These are important projects that will generate a new source of renewable energy while also reducing carbon emissions. We look forward to seeing the impact of these investments as we continue our work to build healthy, sustainable communities.”

Patricia L. Lewis | executive vice president and chief sustainability officer, UnitedHealth Group


“Our corporate partners have such a critical role to play in the transition to a cleaner electric grid. When businesses set their sustainability goals and create demand for renewable power, clean energy projects will be built and more green electrons will be sent to the grid,” said Monica Testa, Head of Origination at Ørsted. “We are thrilled to partner with UnitedHealth Group on one of our largest VPPAs signed to date and to work together to create a cleaner energy future.” 

“We are excited that Tres Bahias is now contributing pollution-free energy to the City of Houston’s facilities,” said Eric Lammers, CEO and co-founder of Swift Current Energy. “Swift Current continues to grow our operating portfolio, and we’re pleased to be able to supply power to the City of Houston through Tres Bahias. We are grateful for the commitment of Morgan Stanley Renewables Inc., UnitedHealth Group, NRG Energy and the City of Houston on this project.”

Workers at Tres Bahias

We are Committed

Sustainability is embedded in UnitedHealth Group’s business strategy, culture and mission. That’s why we’ve committed to:

  • Investing and sourcing 100% of our global electricity demand with renewable sources by 2030.
  • Achieving a 60% reduction in scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 2030. (Scope 1 emissions are those directly contributed by a company, while scope 2 emissions are related to the energy purchased and used by a company.)
  • Achieving operational net-zero by 2035.

Learn more about our broader sustainability efforts in our 2022 Sustainability Report.

Imagery of workers in energy fields at Tres Bahias © Swift Current Energy