This week, Ecolab announced that it plans to get all of the energy it needs through new solar power developed through Xcel Energy’s community solar program. The 16 megawatts of solar energy used by Ecolab will be more than all of Minnesota’s current solar production (14 megawatts) combined. As Dr. Raj Rajan, Ecolab vice president of sustainability, put it simply, “It was a no brainer for us to do this.”
The landmark decision earned praise and recognition from industry leaders, public officials both local and national, and key thought leaders. It was followed by an announcement by Golden Valley-based Mortenson Construction that it had inked a deal to build community solar gardens across Minnesota.
The 40 solar gardens that will be developed as part of Ecolab’s all-solar decision, will be part of the 200 MW solar garden portfolio that SunEdison has planned in the Twin cities area, to be located at 15-20 clusters (sites). While Ecolab is likely to serve as something of an anchor tenant, at least 60 percent of each garden will be available for local families, organizations, and businesses to invest in. This creates new opportunities for those who are unable or uninterested in investing in rooftop solar to invest in a stable, carbon-free energy source.
To learn more about community solar, read our post on Minnesota’s new solar program.
Dr. Rajan serves as a board member for Fresh Energy.