JACKSON, Tenn. – Clearloop, the only cleantech company working with brands and individuals to build domestic solar farms that both clean up the grid and benefit distressed communities, today celebrated the groundbreaking of its 1-megawatt solar farm in Jackson, Tenn., which is the first utility-scale solar farm in the United States directly financed by solar offsets. Clearloop’s solar farm will provide enough clean energy to power 200 homes, helping to clean up the Sun Belt’s fossil-fuel-dependent grid where less than one percent of electricity is currently sourced from solar power.
Clearloop is working with companies big and small to reclaim their carbon footprint by expanding access to clean energy and spurring economic development in the community. The Jackson solar farm, which will reclaim 60 million pounds of carbon, will be financed by companies including Intuit, Vista Equity Partners, Coolperx, Dropps®, Impact Snacks, Hello Bello, Patch, Aether Diamonds, Material Bank® and individuals like singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, and children’s book author Stacy Clark.
“Clearloop’s multi-dimensional approach to bring both immediate impact and long-term economic growth to communities throughout the United States is why Intuit is so excited to support their project in Jackson today, and help them accelerate efforts across the country,” said Intuit Global Sustainability Leader Sean Kinghorn. “Our support for Clearloop extends beyond financial investment to ensure continued innovation in the areas of climate change, corporate responsibility, and community development—all which benefit our shared values and a healthier planet overall.”
“This solar project is the first utility-connected project in the United States directly financed by corporate carbon offsets, expanding equitable access to clean energy in communities getting left behind,” said Clearloop Co-Founder & CEO Laura Zapata. “If we’re going to meet our ambitious climate goals, we need to add more tools in the toolbox for companies of all sizes that want to cut their carbon footprint, accelerate the clean energy transition, and directly clean up the grid.”
Solar as a Tool for Economic Development
Clearloop is the first company in the U.S. cleaning up the grid by directly tying a brand’s financial commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the construction of new solar power infrastructure. Clearloop’s transaction structure guarantees accountability for its projects and empowers companies of all sizes to take tangible climate action. By financing projects in disproportionately “dirty grid” regions, where lack of access to green energy and economic distress increasingly come hand-in-hand, Clearloop is accelerating the reduction of greenhouse emissions nationwide.
Cleaning Up the Grid Through Private Sector Innovation
President Biden has championed the potential for a clean energy transition to spur economic development across the U.S., setting ambitious goals for the production of electric vehicles and decarbonizing the grid by 2035. While global investment in renewable energy continues to break records with $174 billion in the first six months of 2021, analysts agree that an “immediate acceleration in funding is needed if we are to get on track for global net zero.” By creating innovative ways to direct new capital to renewable energy development in American communities getting left behind, Clearloop is empowering companies of all sizes and capabilities to accelerate the green energy transition.
Jackson, located between Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., is the hub of rural West Tennessee for all commerce, healthcare, and education in the area. The Jackson community is both ethnically and economically diverse, with a large population of under-employed people from manufacturing trades. Though it’s been identified as a Distressed Community by the Economic Innovation Group, the city is already embracing the economic and health benefits of the clean energy economy. The infusion of new solar power infrastructure will not only guarantee clean energy for the next 40 years but can also help accelerate economic development for the community.
Notably, Jackson residents have been adversely affected by extreme weather in alarming, increasing frequency over the last several years, from devastating tornadoes to frequent flooding in the region. As a direct effort to immediately reduce greenhouse emissions while increasing benefits to the community over the long term, the new solar field is both a model for direct action and a beacon of hope for a community left behind for too long.
“Jackson has seen first-hand how clean energy expansion can be a tool for economic development, creating new jobs, establishing new tax revenue, and making our community more desirable for companies that want access to clean energy,” said Kyle Spurgeon, CEO of the Jackson Chamber. “We’re proud to see companies like Clearloop and the collection of partners financing this solar project investing not only in cleaning up the grid but in the Jackson community.”
The Impact of Individual Action
On Earth Day of this year, Clearloop invited individuals to claim their own solar panel to help reach a 1,000,000 watt goal in Jackson. Using Clearloop’s calculator, individuals had the opportunity to fund new solar capacity, measured in watts, to reclaim their individual carbon footprint and to make carbon a relic of the past. As a sign of appreciation, Clearloop sent each individual their own time capsule to represent the carbon they are helping us leave behind.
These individuals were invited to today’s groundbreaking to help celebrate the impact of their investment and to bury their time capsules. For those who are not joining in person, Clearloop will host a live stream so people can experience the celebration remotely.