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

REI Co-op is ensuring its new environmentally-friendly supply chain facility has a sustainable energy source.

The nation’s largest consumer co-op 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 supply 100% renewable energy to REI’s 400,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art distribution center in Lebanon, Tenn. that is designed 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 while using 30% less energy than code requires.

Intuit and REI each developed 1.4 MW of the solar project in collaboration with Clearloop. This combined effort is estimated to prevent more than 162 million pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere over the project's lifetime. 

In addition to Intuit and REI, the solar project is supported by the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Dispersed Power Program and local power companies including Morristown Utility Systems. The White Pine Solar Farm will be developed, owned, and operated by Clearloop parent Silicon Ranch for the lifetime of the project.

“The White Pine project represents an exciting addition to REI's renewable energy portfolio," said Matt Thurston, divisional VP of sustainability, REI Co-op. "We're proud to help usher in new-to-the-world solar energy in the Tennessee Valley, a region where we recently opened a new distribution center, operate multiple stores, and have thousands of members. Clearloop's vision to decarbonize the grid by supporting projects that expand access to clean energy in more communities—along with the project's investments in the local workforce and regenerative land practices—is one in which we strongly believe."

"Intuit has long been focused on making a positive impact on climate, a significant issue that directly affects the wellbeing and ability of people and communities to prosper,” said Debbie Lizt, head of global sustainability at Intuit. "We take a holistic approach to climate and sustainability, driving initiatives internally within our operational footprint, supply chain, and externally in the communities we serve. Our collaboration with Clearloop and the local community allows us to bring a meaningful and intentional focus to new solar projects in areas where we can provide environmental and economic benefits to the communities for years to come."

"Clearloop's partnerships with Intuit, REI, and the local community help us realize our commitment to decarbonizing the grid with an intentional focus on commissioning 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, Clearloop. “This project represents the possibilities fostered by responsible, thoughtful, and meaningful corporate climate action."

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

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