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REI helps develop solar farm to support energy-efficient facility

Representatives from REI, Clearloop and Intuit celebrate the completion of the White Pine Solar Project in White Pine, Tennessee (Photo: Business Wire)

Representatives from REI, Clearloop and Intuit celebrate the completion of the White Pine Solar Project in White Pine, Tennessee. (Photo: Business Wire)

REI Co-op provides a recently opened, environmentally friendly supply chain facility has a sustainable energy source.

The nation’s largest consumer cooperative has partnered with Intuit and carbon solutions provider Clearloop, a Silicon Ranch company, to develop a new 2.8 MW solar farm in White Pine, Tenn.

The solar farm will provide 100% renewable energy to REI’s state-of-the-art, 400,000-square-foot facility distribution center in Lebanon, Tennessee, which aims to minimize climate impact, as well as to nearly 400 local homes.

The distribution center will serve more than 60 stores in the Midwest and Southeast and 5.6 million local REI customers, using 30% less energy than required by the standard.

Intuit and REI, together with Clearloop, have developed a 1.4 MW solar project. These combined efforts are estimated to prevent more than 162 million pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere over the life of the project.

In addition to Intuit and REI, the solar project is supported by the Tennessee Valley Authority’s distributed energy program and local utilities, including Morristown Utility Systems. The White Pine Solar Farm will be constructed, owned and operated by Clearloop’s parent company, Silicon Ranch, throughout the life of the project.

“The White Pine project is an exciting addition to REI’s renewable energy portfolio,” said Matt Thurston, vice president of sustainability at REI Co-op. “We are proud to help bring world-new solar power to the Tennessee Valley, a region where we recently opened a new distribution center, operate multiple stores and have thousands of members. We believe strongly in Clearloop’s vision to decarbonize the grid by supporting projects that increase access to clean energy in more communities – along with project investments in local workforce and regenerative land practices.”

“Intuit has long been focused on making a positive impact on the climate, an important issue that directly impacts the well-being and ability of people and communities to thrive,” said Debbie Lizt, director of global sustainability at Intuit. “We take a holistic approach to climate and sustainability, driving initiatives internally across our operational footprint, supply chain and externally in the communities we serve. Our partnership with Clearloop and the local community allows us to meaningfully and purposefully focus on new solar projects in areas where we can deliver environmental and economic benefits to communities for many years to come.”

“Clearloop’s collaboration with Intuit, REI and the local community helps us realize our commitment to decarbonize the grid, with an intentional focus on launching new solar projects in communities where we can maximize the environmental, educational and economic benefits of climate dollars,” said Laura Zapata , CEO and co-founder of Clearloop. “This project represents the opportunities that come from responsible, thoughtful and meaningful corporate climate action.”

REI Co-op, based near Seattle, had 185 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia as of October 11, 2023.