Clearloop partners with first business, aims to help businesses reduce carbon footprints

Nashville-based Clearloop recently partnered with its first business, Boston-based Impact Snacks, a healthy snack company that “reclaims more carbon than it makes, produces no plastic and harnesses the power of collective action leaving nothing behind except for a better, cleaner world.”

Founded by former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Laura Zapata, and Bob Corney in 2019, Clearloop aims to “accelerate the greening of the U.S. electricity grid in the next 10 years through the force of everyday actions.” The startup helps companies “measure, reclaim and track” their carbon footprint with new renewable energy facilities. 

“We’re trying to partner with different businesses in a way similar to crowdfunding to build these facilities that would produce enough energy to power 200 homes in the Jackson area,” said Zapata. Zapata and Corney worked on Bredesen’s staff when he was governor. 

With this new partnership, Clearloop will build its first megawatt-producing solar facility near Silicon Ranch Corporation’s 2-megawatt solar farm in Jackson, Tennessee. Bredesen serves as the Founding Chairman of the Board for Silicon Ranch Corporation, a valued Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council member. 

Clearloop’s mission is to help businesses of all sizes partner to build renewable energy facilities to generate clean energy and decrease or completely eliminate their carbon footprint. 

“I see it as a way of really reaching into a different world of companies that are not the big dogs, who have got some C-suite executive worrying about sustainability, like Walmart does or Procter & Gamble does,” Bredesen told The Associated Press

Zapata said the company intends to announce more partnerships later this year.

Two TAEBC members place in Solar Power World’s 2020 Top 100 Solar Contractors list

Solar Power World, the industry’s leading source for technology, development and installation news, has unveiled its 2020 Top Solar Contractors list. The list ranks applicants according to their influence in the U.S. solar industry in 2019.

This year TAEBC member Silicon Ranch Corporation ranked #19 on the list, installing 282,544 kW in 2019 and a grand total of 829,000 kW installed since its founding.

Silicon Ranch is the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country. Silicon Ranch’s work with a diverse set of customers across the country, including Fortune 500 companies and electric cooperatives, demonstrates its ability to customize solutions that ensure successful outcomes. The company’s operating portfolio includes more than 135 facilities across 14 states from New York to California, including the first large-scale solar projects in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Silicon Ranch was also selected as 2020’s ‘Most Forward-Thinking’ company by Solar Power World for its pioneering work with Regenerative EnergyTM. In addition to earning this prestigious honor, Silicon Ranch was further recognized as the #2 solar developer in the publication’s annual rankings of the Top Solar Contractors, up a spot from its third-place finish in 2019.

TAEBC member Ameresco, headquartered in Massachusetts but with locations in Tennessee, ranked #78 on the list, installing 22,611 kW in 2019 and 245,792 kW since its founding.

Ameresco is a leading independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America and the United Kingdom, delivering long-term value through innovative systems, strategies and technologies. Ameresco’s solutions range from upgrades to facility’s energy infrastructure to the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants combined with tailored financial solutions. The company works with customers on both sides of the meter to reduce operating expenses, upgrade and maintain facilities, stabilize energy costs, improve occupancy comfort levels, increase energy reliability and enhance the environment.

You can view the complete list of rankings on Solar Power World’s website.

Disclosure: The list details the headquarters location of a company, employees, its primary market (utility, commercial, residential) and its primary service (EPC, developer, rooftop contractor, installation subcontractor, electrical subcontractor, manufacturer installer). Companies choose their primary market and primary service. That does not mean they only work in these areas. They could work across all markets and all services, and their listed kilowatts reflect their cumulative installation numbers from the last year in all markets, services and states. Ranks are determined by the number of kilowatts (DC) a company was involved with installing in 2019 in the United States only. If two companies reported the same 2019 numbers, they were sorted by total kilowatts installed.

TAEBC Annual Meeting 2020 highlights transportation electrification initiatives, advanced energy leadership

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) held another successful Annual Meeting at Schneider Electric’s Nashville Hub earlier this month.

TNECD Commissioner and TDEC Commissioner Featured speakers included Commissioner Bob Rolfe of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) and Commissioner David Salyers of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), who spoke about electric vehicles (EV) and their role in Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.

The event kicked off with TAEBC awarding Dan Hurst, CEO and founder of Strata-G, with the second-ever Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award, which honors exemplary leadership and success in championing, connecting, and strengthening Tennessee’s advanced energy economy. Last year, the inaugural award went to Ballard himself.  

“As a founding board member of the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council, Dan Hurst embodies the qualities of a servant leader,” said Cortney Piper, Executive Director and Vice President of TAEBC. “His dedication and commitment to building a new organization that represents an entire industry that makes Tennessee a better state in which to live, work and play is truly admirable. That same vision and devotion have enabled Dan to lead and grow a successful business in East Tennessee that embraces energy innovation, environmental stewardship and sustainability.”

Schneider Electric’s Vice President of Power Products, Emily Heitman, welcomed TAEBC to Schneider Electric’s Nashville Hub and reinforced the company’s commitment to doing business in Tennessee. Her presentation was followed by Piper, who outlined TAEBC’S top achievements in 2019 and emphasized the organization’s goals and priorities moving into 2020. 

Next, Silicon Ranch Corporation’s Director of Regenerative Energy and Land Management, Michael Baute, spoke about the company’s holistic approach to solar power plant design, construction, and operations. Since launching Regenerative Energy with one 52-acre project in 2018, the program has grown exponentially with 31 projects on 5,923 acres throughout five states this year.

On TAEBC’s Energy Mentor Network Panel, Helge Nestler, Founder and President of Ginko Technologies, pitched his startup and mission to accelerate the use of sustainable waste treatment methods to reduce landfills and recover energy from waste. Afterwards, he was joined by Ira Weiss, Energy Mentor Network Entrepreneur-in-Residence and principal of Weiss Associates, for a panel discussion about Nestler’s entrepreneurial journey and value of the Energy Mentor Network program for startups like Ginko Technologies.

Later, Drew Frye, Senior Power Utilization Engineer at TVA, spoke about EV trends and the utility’s EV strategy for the state. In addition to providing a 10-year snapshot of the role of EVs from 2010 until now, Frye highlighted TVA’s role with Drive Electric Tennessee and what is next on the horizon for TVA, including improving charging infrastructure, enhancing consumer awareness, promoting supportive EV policies, and ensuring EV availability. 

Commissioner Salyers also spoke about Drive Electric Tennessee and the continued development of a statewide EV charging network. He reinforced TDEC’s commitment to providing a cleaner, safer environment and support for technologies that reduce emissions and improve air quality. Through its electrification efforts, “TDEC seeks to improve transportation efficiency, reduce vehicle emissions, and strengthen the resiliency of the transportation sector.”  

“Our vision for Tennessee is to become a leader in the electric transportation space,” remarked Salyers. “Electric vehicles have the potential to make our transportation system both more efficient and more resilient. We are excited to continue working alongside our fantastic partners to achieve these benefits.”

During Commissioner Rolfe’s TNECD update, he emphasized how the agency’s “first job” is to create high-quality jobs for Tennesseans. His second job, explained Rolfe, is to make sure the companies that call Tennessee home “are happy,” such as Volkswagen, Nissan, and others who are focused on EV efforts. 

“We’re going to focus on recruiting companies to Tennessee that are focused on the electric vehicle business because we think it’s here to stay,” said Rolfe. “For Tennessee to remain number one in the southeast, we’re going to be doubling down on those efforts.”

After their presentations, Saylers and Rolfe held a joint Q&A session, where they answered a range of audience questions. For example, when asked what TAEBC can do to support the state’s efforts in propelling electrification efforts further, Saylers emphasized the importance of workforce development programs that promote technical training for jobs that support the state’s advanced energy economy.

Rolfe echoed Sayler’s statements, adding, “a lot of good things are happening in Tennessee, but what we can continue to do is to make it the most inviting, business friendly state to come do business in.”

Two TAEBC members make Solar Power World 2019’s Top 100 Solar Contractors List

Solar Power World, the industry’s leading source for technology, development and installation news, presents the 2019 Top Solar Contractors list. The list ranks applicants according to their influence in the U.S. solar industry in 2018.

The list details the headquarters location of a company, employees, its primary market (utility, commercial, residential) and its primary service (EPC, developer, rooftop contractor, installation subcontractor, electrical subcontractor, manufacturer installer). 

TAEBC member Silicon Ranch Corporation ranked at #26 on the list, installing 94,449 kW in 2018 alone.

Silicon Ranch is the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country. Silicon Ranch develops to own all of its projects for the long-term, a distinction that means the company is deeply committed to its partners and communities and stands behind the performance of its facilities day in and day out. The company’s operating portfolio includes more than 125 facilities across 14 states from New York to California, including the first large-scale solar projects in Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Ameresco, headquartered in Massachusetts but with locations in Tennessee, ranked #55 on the list, installing 30,793 kW in 2018.

Ameresco is a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions provider serving North America and the United Kingdom. Their energy experts deliver long-term customer value, environmental stewardship, and sustainability through energy efficiency, alternative energy, supply management, and innovative facility renewal all with practical financial solutions. Solar projects are designed for the unique needs of customers. Ameresco has built innovative projects on municipal landfills, parking garages, parking lots, interstate highways, military bases, industrial plants, schools, and airports. In addition, Ameresco has paired solar PV projects with batteries and interconnection controls for microgrid applications to meet resiliency objectives.

You can view the complete list and rankings on Solar Power World’s website.

Disclosure: Companies choose their primary market and primary service. That does not mean they only work in these areas. They could work across all markets and all services, and their listed kilowatts reflect their cumulative installation numbers from the last year in all markets, services and states. Ranks are determined by the number of kilowatts (DC) a company was involved with installing in 2018 in the United States only. If two companies reported the same 2018 numbers, they were sorted by total kilowatts installed.

Part 1 of 3: “Ask Me Anything” Series with Energy CEOs, featuring Matt Kisber

Join us for the first-part in a new three-part series of “Ask Me Anything” with Energy CEOs! Our first session will feature Silicon Ranch Corporation, Co-Founder & CEO, Matt Kisber!

RSVP Now, as space is limited!

Cost is free to TAEBC members and $25 for TAEBC non-members, plus an additional small fee.

What is “Ask Me Anything”?

“Ask Me Anything” sessions provide intimate, candid discussions between attendees and energy CEOs where attendees can “ask anything” related to business, strategy, work-life balance and everything in between. The sessions will consist of live questions with a moderator as well as questions sent in prior to the event via social media.

More details coming soon! Expect announcements on the other parts of the series soon, too!

Matt Kisber, Co-Founder & CEO, Silicon Ranch Corporation