Clearloop, a Tennessee-based company that helps companies reach their net zero and sustainability goals by investing in new solar projects to clean up the grid in the communities that need it the most, held a “Flip the Switch” event today to celebrate the completion of a first-of-its-kind solar project, developed with the support of 11 organizations that sought to tackle their carbon footprint. By replacing polluting power plants with clean solar electricity, this project will prevent 60 million pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere, helping clean up the electricity grid as it provides power to up to 200 West Tennessee area homes every year for the next 40 years.
“This milestone highlights the fundamental impact that Clearloop has on individual communities and is proof of our efforts to ensure that more communities are included in the country’s transition to clean energy,” said Laura Zapata, CEO and Co-Founder of Clearloop. “As the first utility-scale solar farm in the U.S. made possible by corporate carbon offsets, the Jackson solar farm is a big milestone not only for our company and partners, but for the acceleration of equitable access to clean energy. We’re also proud to bring STEM education to life with local students by demonstrating real-world applications of innovative renewable energy solutions.”
Approximately 150 local students from the Grahamwood Elementary School joined the Clearloop executive and operations teams along with officials from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and the Jackson Chamber of Commerce. This community-wide event included site tours and speakers, all to commemorate the completion of Clearloop’s first solar ranch and to serve as an opportunity to share information with the Jackson community about how solar energy and carbon solutions are working together to benefit the region.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students to see science and renewable energy in action within their state,” said Sylvia Albert, STEM teacher at Grahamwood Elementary. “Clearloop has been a great champion of our STEM program by helping educate students about solar energy and its many positive environmental and economic impacts.”
“This solar ranch propels the Jackson community forward via a steady supply of accessible renewable energy for decades to come,” said Kyle Spurgeon, CEO of the Jackson Chamber. “We’re proud to partner with Clearloop and welcome innovative projects that help support economic development in West Tennessee.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, solar power makes up less than 1 percent of Tennessee’s total electricity mix. Clearloop’s solar project in Jackson will help increase access to clean solar power by adding 1 megawatt of new solar on the grid connected to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and directly replacing fossil fuels to drive down emissions. To help demonstrate this impact, Clearloop has launched a real-time emissions tracking dashboard which will show visitors how much solar power the project is generating and how much carbon is being avoided. The dashboard can be accessed at clearloop.us/tn-jackson/.
“Clearloop’s new solar project in Jackson, Tennessee demonstrates what is possible when smart policy meets corporate responsibility. This project was financed through an innovative new approach with investment specifically targeted to maximize the environmental, economic and social impact of solar development, and many more like this will be catalyzed by the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act,” said Gregory Wetstone, ACORE President and CEO. “As an organization dedicated to accelerating the transition to a renewable energy economy, ACORE is proud to celebrate alongside Clearloop as they seek to lead the way to an equitable clean energy transition.”
Clearloop’s Jackson solar project partners include Fortune 500 Company Intuit, private equity company Vista Equity Partners, area company Material Bank, innovative companies like Aether Diamonds, Impact Snacks, Coolperx, Dropps, Hello Bello, Patch, and individual contributions from singer songwriter Jason Isbell and Planet Power author Stacy Clark.