Caribou Coffee signed a community solar subscription agreement with solar energy developer Renewable Properties in Minnesota. Through the new partnership, the coffeehouse receives utility bill credits for retail locations around the state.
Community solar subscription manager Terasota Partners put together the partnership between Brooklyn Center, Minnesota-based Caribou Coffee and Renewable Properties. Caribou subscribes to two 1-megawatt community solar gardens and receives credits on electric bills for statewide coffeehouses based on the kilowatt-hours that their share of the portfolio produces.
The average annual production from the two solar arrays is nearly 3.62 gigawatt hours, according to Renewable Properties. Aaron Halimi, founder and president of Renewable Properties, noted that these are their first community solar gardens in the state.
He added that businesses like Caribou can benefit from community solar gardens without having to take on the engineering, permitting, construction, maintenance, and operation of large-scale solar projects.
“Community solar allows businesses, residents, and public entities to subscribe to an offsite solar installation without hosting the project on their property,” said Jake Wanek, VP of subscriber acquisition for Terasota Partners.
The Minnesota solar market has been heating up in recent years. Last October the Interstate Renewable Energy Council gave the state an “A” grade for renewable energy programs. Over the summer, Walmart signed an agreement with US Solar subscribing to 36 1-megawatt community solar gardens throughout Minnesota.