Headquartered near the St. Croix River that marks the Minnesota/Wisconsin border, Andersen Corporation is the largest manufacturer of windows and doors in North America.
In the Sunday St. Paul Pioneer Press, Andersen’s Chairman and CEO, Jay Lund, writes:
Minnesota is on the cusp of building more than 4,000 acres of solar sites this year. This dramatic increase in clean-energy investment is an important step toward combating the growing risks from climate change that face our communities, governments and businesses alike.
Meanwhile, bees, birds, monarchs and critical pollinators are disappearing by the hundreds of millions, according to research from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a recent report from the United Nations. A significant factor in the decline is habitat loss.
Although 4,000 acres is just over 0.01 percent of Minnesota’s 27 million acres of rowcrops, the land presents a significant opportunity to support native pollinators. A wide variety of short-stemmed flowers and shade-tolerant grasses can easily and safely grow under and around ground-mounted photovoltaic solar panels, and provide the added benefits of holding the topsoil on site and improving it over time.
Last year, Andersen Corp. signed a pledge with other businesses, government agencies and nonprofits in the St. Croix River Valley to promote pollinator habitat in the region. At the heart of that commitment is our desire to sustain the beauty and natural wonder of this National Scenic Riverway, which has been our home for more than 100 years.
The pledge also reflects our understanding that natural resources are inextricably linked to the health of our people and our future ability to succeed as a business. That is why we have also signed agreements with three community solar garden developers to subscribe to up to 19 megawatts of solar-powered energy. We’re proud that those partners have committed to ensuring those gardens are pollinator-friendly — and we call on other solar developers and subscribers to make a commitment to do the right thing for our communities.
Read the column (fourth from the top) in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.