Red Wing Shoe Company embarks on 25-year solar energy partnership
Company’s subscription to community solar farms will reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Red Wing Shoe Company — a global leader in the design, production and distribution of safety and lifestyle footwear as well as work-related footwear and apparel — has signed Solar Subscription Agreements for two community solar farms in Minnesota’s Olmstead and Dodge counties.
Red Wing’s 25-year commitment to the solar projects was made with NRG Energy, Inc., a Fortune 200 company and the nation’s leading integrated power company. When complete, the solar farms Red Wing is subscribed to will ultimately prevent 66,218 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the environment — equivalent to eliminating 7.4 million consumed gallons of gasoline or 3,000 garbage trucks of landfill waste.
NRG is building the projects under the Xcel Energy Solar Rewards Community Program established in Minnesota in December 2014 through the same law that requires that Xcel source 1.5 percent of its electricity sales in the state from solar energy by 2020. The solar farms will deliver electricity into the local grid, and as a subscriber of 40 percent (the maximum permitted) of the its 6-megawatt combined capacity, Red Wing will receive its share of electricity credits from Xcel on its utility bills.
The agreement, signed in December 2016, will subscribe Red Wing to roughly 4 million annual kilowatt-hours, approximately one quarter of the company’s electricity consumption in Minnesota for its plants, warehouses, headquarters and other facilities. The anticipated bill credits associated with the community solar subscriptions will result in significant, long-term cost savings for the company.
“This partnership makes sense on numerous levels and we’re pleased to be working with a company leading the clean energy movement,” said Mark Urdahl, CEO of Red Wing Shoe Company. “It is the right thing to do for our planet and future generations, and it sets a positive example for our employees, customers and other stakeholders. What’s more, it provides more predictability and control in our energy prices without interrupting our business operations.”
The investment in renewable energy is part of Red Wing Shoe Company’s ongoing but increasing commitment to environmental sustainability. The business not only locally sources its high-quality, long-lasting products, but minimizes waste and relies on non-ozone depleting materials (for example, using an eco-friendly polyurethane alternative) as much as possible. Other recent efforts include changing much of the lighting in its production environments to energy-saving LEDs and renewing its sponsorship of the American Hiking Society to advance the enjoyment and preservation of America’s outdoor trails.
“Across Minnesota we are hearing the same strong message from businesses and residents alike: they want to be powered by affordable, renewable energy,” said Drew Warshaw, Vice President, Community Solar, NRG. “Community solar gives them that opportunity without having to put panels on their roofs. We are excited to have Red Wing as a long-term partner and to join forces with a company that stands for hard work, innovation and sustainability.”
The Red Wing solar farms are two of many community solar projects that NRG is constructing in Minnesota and across the country with both businesses and residential subscribers. Other Minnesota-based businesses that NRG is partnering with include: U.S. Bank, Land O’ Lakes and Ecolab. NRG is one of the nation’s leaders in community solar active in Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts and New York.
About Red Wing Shoe Company
The Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc. is a global leader in the design, production and distribution of work, safety and lifestyle footwear and work apparel. Established in 1905 in Red Wing, Minn., today the privately-held company’s family of brands includes Red Wing®, the premium choice for purpose built work footwear, workwear and accessories including a collection of Heritage styles created for any occasion; Irish Setter®, the footwear brand of choice for hunters and workers who want uncompromising quality and technological innovation; Vasque®, a pioneer of performance hiking footwear; WORX™, a trusted brand for the industrial safety footwear market; and S.B. Foot Tanning Company, one of the largest USA producers of fine tanned leather for footwear and leather goods. Its brands are distributed to more than 110 countries in an immersive multi-channel environment of 500+ Red Wing retail stores, third-party partners, and owned ecommerce platforms. The Red Wing Shoe Company employs more than 2,000 employees worldwide today, and operates two U.S. manufacturing facilities in Red Wing, Minn. and Potosi, Mo. For more information, please visit redwingshoes.com, facebook.com/RedWingShoes or follow @RedWingShoes.
NRG is the leading integrated power company in the U.S., built on the strength of the nation’s largest and most diverse competitive electric generation portfolio and leading retail electricity platform. A Fortune 200 company, NRG creates value through best in class operations, reliable and efficient electric generation, and a retail platform serving residential and commercial businesses. Working with electricity customers, large and small, we continually innovate, embrace and implement sustainable solutions for producing and managing energy. We aim to be pioneers in developing smarter energy choices and delivering exceptional service as our retail electricity providers serve almost 3 million residential and commercial customers throughout the country. More information is available at www.nrg.com. Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy.