Patagonia to Fund Rooftop Solar Installations on 1,500 Homes
While many major retailers—including Apple, IKEA and recently Whole Foods—are investing in solar to supply their own businesses with power, Patagonia wants you to have this clean, green renewable energy yourself.
The outdoor clothing and gear company is bringing rooftop solar to 1,500 homes in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
The company made the announcement Thursday in a blog post:
Led by Patagonia and Kinaʻole Capital Partners, LLC, a first-of-its-kind group of five certified B-Corporations has come together to create a $35 million tax equity fund that will make the benefits of solar power available to more than a thousand U.S. households. The new fund uses state and federal tax credits to direct Patagonia’s tax dollars for residential development of affordable, efficient Sungevity solar energy systems.
The five B Corporations involved in the project are: Patagonia, which will be the tax equity investor; Kinaʻole, as the fund manager; New Resource Bank and Beneficial State Bank as lenders; and Sungevity, Inc., as the project developer.
“We’re doubling down on an investment strategy that brings great financial returns while supporting the clean energy economy,” Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario said in the announcement. “B Corps know how to make money while creating broader benefits—but any company would be smart to leverage their tax dollars this way. I hope others take advantage of a great opportunity.”
.@BCorporation group investment brings solar to 1,500 homes in 8 states; The Cleanest Line: https://t.co/hfYlXKivde https://t.co/b96P60XzjD— Patagonia (@Patagonia)1457636229.0
According to the New York Times, tax equity investing is a type of transaction that limits the pool of investors for clean energy development:
Financiers of solar projects are entitled to a tax credit worth 30 percent of a project’s cost, but not all developers have enough profit to use it.
Over the years, some large companies like Google have taken advantage of the approach by investing in a variety of clean energy installations, as have retail chains like Walmart and Costco, which have the roof space to put in panels for their own energy needs.
Marcario learned of tax equity investing through a solar developer she knows. However, instead of installing rooftop panels onto her own stores, she decided Patagonia should help families get over the steep costs of residential solar instead.
The homeowners taking part in the venture will pay no up-front costs as they will sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy solar energy for less than their utility’s rates. Any surplus power the panels generate will be sold back to the utility.
We're teaming up with @patagonia & fellow b corps to finance 1500+ residential solar installations! https://t.co/nJitwcXw5B #BtheChange— Sungevity (@Sungevity)1457635233.0
In all, the rooftop systems installed through Patagonia's new solar fund are expected to produce 200 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity over the solar installation's typical 20-year life span. That translates to the displaced consumption of 325,000 barrels of oil, or the equivalent to taking 30,000 cars off the road and 140,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the company said.
The investment was made through Patagonia’s $20 Million & Change venture fund that invests in companies making positive impacts on the environment. Impressively, this is already the second solar fund Patagonia has started. Through $20 Million & Change, the company established a $27 million solar fund with Kinaʻole and brought solar PV systems to 1,000 residential homes in Hawaii in 2014.
Certified B Corporations are companies that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems and to meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
“I hope that other companies that are interested in having a positive impact will look at this as a model,” Marcario told the New York Times. She added that the faster clean energy takes off, “the better off we all are going to be.”
Patagonia is gaining a reputation for their environmental philanthropy. The company established the Traceable Down Standard which means their clothes feature only 100 percent Traceable Down that never comes from live-plucked or force-fed birds. Patagonia is also ditching toxic fluorocarbon chemicals, or polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which make garments water- and soil-resistant, but also happens to be terrible for our health and the environment.
.@Patagonia Invests in Textile Company in Hopes of Ditching Toxic Chemicals in Outerwear http://t.co/19xKC8k1vQ http://t.co/tVYYahasaw— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1428069055.0
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
New fossils uncovered in Argentina may belong to one of the largest animals to have walked on Earth.
- Groundbreaking Fossil Shows Prehistoric 15-Foot Reptile Tried to ... ›
- Skull of Smallest Known Dinosaur Found in 99-Million-Year Old Amber ›
- Giant 'Toothed' Birds Flew Over Antarctica 40 Million Years Ago ... ›
- World's Second-Largest Egg Found in Antarctica Probably Hatched ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Pruitt Guts the Clean Power Plan: How Weak Will the New EPA ... ›
- It's Official: Trump Administration to Repeal Clean Power Plan ... ›
- 'Deadly' Clean Power Plan Replacement ›
By Jonathan Runstadler and Kaitlin Sawatzki
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have found coronavirus infections in pet cats and dogs and in multiple zoo animals, including big cats and gorillas. These infections have even happened when staff were using personal protective equipment.
- Gorillas in San Diego Test Positive for Coronavirus - EcoWatch ›
- Wildlife Rehabilitators Are Overwhelmed During the Pandemic. In ... ›
- Coronavirus Pandemic Linked to Destruction of Wildlife and World's ... ›
- Utah Mink Becomes First Wild Animal to Test Positive for Coronavirus ›
By Peter Giger
The speed and scale of the response to COVID-19 by governments, businesses and individuals seems to provide hope that we can react to the climate change crisis in a similarly decisive manner - but history tells us that humans do not react to slow-moving and distant threats.
A Game of Jenga<p>Think of it as a game of Jenga and the planet's climate system as the tower. For generations, we have been slowly removing blocks. But at some point, we will remove a pivotal block, such as the collapse of one of the major global ocean circulation systems, for example the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), that will cause all or part of the global climate system to fall into a planetary emergency.</p><p>But worse still, it could cause runaway damage: Where the tipping points form a domino-like cascade, where breaching one triggers breaches of others, creating an unstoppable shift to a radically and swiftly changing climate.</p><p>One of the most concerning tipping points is mass methane release. Methane can be found in deep freeze storage within permafrost and at the bottom of the deepest oceans in the form of methane hydrates. But rising sea and air temperatures are beginning to thaw these stores of methane.</p><p>This would release a powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, 30-times more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming agent. This would drastically increase temperatures and rush us towards the breach of other tipping points.</p><p>This could include the acceleration of ice thaw on all three of the globe's large, land-based ice sheets – Greenland, West Antarctica and the Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica. The potential collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is seen as a key tipping point, as its loss could eventually <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/324/5929/901" target="_blank">raise global sea levels by 3.3 meters</a> with important regional variations.</p><p>More than that, we would be on the irreversible path to full land-ice melt, causing sea levels to rise by up to 30 meters, roughly at the rate of two meters per century, or maybe faster. Just look at the raised beaches around the world, at the last high stand of global sea level, at the end of the Pleistocene period around 120,0000 years ago, to see the evidence of such a warm world, which was just 2°C warmer than the present day.</p>
Cutting Off Circulation<p>As well as devastating low-lying and coastal areas around the world, melting polar ice could set off another tipping point: a disablement to the AMOC.</p><p>This circulation system drives a northward flow of warm, salty water on the upper layers of the ocean from the tropics to the northeast Atlantic region, and a southward flow of cold water deep in the ocean.</p><p>The ocean conveyor belt has a major effect on the climate, seasonal cycles and temperature in western and northern Europe. It means the region is warmer than other areas of similar latitude.</p><p>But melting ice from the Greenland ice sheet could threaten the AMOC system. It would dilute the salty sea water in the north Atlantic, making the water lighter and less able or unable to sink. This would slow the engine that drives this ocean circulation.</p><p><a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/atlantic-conveyor-belt-has-slowed-15-per-cent-since-mid-twentieth-century" target="_blank">Recent research</a> suggests the AMOC has already weakened by around 15% since the middle of the 20th century. If this continues, it could have a major impact on the climate of the northern hemisphere, but particularly Europe. It may even lead to the <a href="https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/39731?show=full" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cessation of arable farming</a> in the UK, for instance.</p><p>It may also reduce rainfall over the Amazon basin, impact the monsoon systems in Asia and, by bringing warm waters into the Southern Ocean, further destabilize ice in Antarctica and accelerate global sea level rise.</p>
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation has a major effect on the climate. Praetorius (2018)
Is it Time to Declare a Climate Emergency?<p>At what stage, and at what rise in global temperatures, will these tipping points be reached? No one is entirely sure. It may take centuries, millennia or it could be imminent.</p><p>But as COVID-19 taught us, we need to prepare for the expected. We were aware of the risk of a pandemic. We also knew that we were not sufficiently prepared. But we didn't act in a meaningful manner. Thankfully, we have been able to fast-track the production of vaccines to combat COVID-19. But there is no vaccine for climate change once we have passed these tipping points.</p><p><a href="https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2021" target="_blank">We need to act now on our climate</a>. Act like these tipping points are imminent. And stop thinking of climate change as a slow-moving, long-term threat that enables us to kick the problem down the road and let future generations deal with it. We must take immediate action to reduce global warming and fulfill our commitments to the <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Paris Agreement</a>, and build resilience with these tipping points in mind.</p><p>We need to plan now to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, but we also need to plan for the impacts, such as the ability to feed everyone on the planet, develop plans to manage flood risk, as well as manage the social and geopolitical impacts of human migrations that will be a consequence of fight or flight decisions.</p><p>Breaching these tipping points would be cataclysmic and potentially far more devastating than COVID-19. Some may not enjoy hearing these messages, or consider them to be in the realm of science fiction. But if it injects a sense of urgency to make us respond to climate change like we have done to the pandemic, then we must talk more about what has happened before and will happen again.</p><p>Otherwise we will continue playing Jenga with our planet. And ultimately, there will only be one loser – us.</p>
By John R. Platt
The period of the 45th presidency will go down as dark days for the United States — not just for the violent insurgency and impeachment that capped off Donald Trump's four years in office, but for every regressive action that came before.
- Biden Announces $2 Trillion Climate and Green Recovery Plan ... ›
- How Biden and Kerry Can Rebuild America's Climate Leadership ... ›
- Biden's EPA Pick Michael Regan Urged to Address Environmental ... ›
- How Joe Biden's Climate Plan Compares to the Green New Deal ... ›