Rivian and Clearloop are partnering to bring online Rivian’s first megawatt of renewable electricity. The Paris Solar Farm – Puryear in Tennessee will be the first installation in Henry County. The project utilizes unique approaches to financing and siting that aim to put renewables on more fossil-fueled grids where they can displace more coal and natural gas.
“Corporations have played a major role in growing renewables, but we’re arriving at a point where we need to evolve our approaches in order to truly decarbonize the nation’s entire grid,” says Laura Zapata, Clearloop’s co-founder and CEO. “Clearloop is opening up a new solar financing mechanism that focuses on the carbon impacts rather than the MWhs. Rivian’s willingness to think creatively and take this different path is a key enabler.”
Rivian provided upfront financing for 1 MW of the 6.75 MW project, which will cover electricity used by Rivian Waypoints chargers planned for Tennessee state parks as well as other clean energy commitments in the region. Rivian’s capital helped to kickstart construction of the overall project and demonstrates corporate demand for renewable power in the region, Clearloop leaders say.
“The carbon consequences go beyond state lines,” sates Andrew Peterman, director of renewable energy at Rivian. “Given the urgency with which we need to transition to more sustainable energy systems, the system-wide impacts matter. That’s why we’re being thoughtful from the very first steps on our path to carbon neutrality.”
Rivian aspires to achieve carbon neutrality in its own operations – Scopes 1 and 2 as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol – by 2028, and in categories within Scope 3 by 2032. Scope 3 encompasses the full value chain from suppliers to vehicle charging. The company is building charging networks across the U.S. and Canada and plans to match every kWh Rivian owners drive with renewable energy purchases on an annual basis – whether vehicles are charged at home, a Rivian charging network charger or at a partner network charging site.
In addition to the partnership between Rivian and Clearloop, the Paris Solar Farm – Puryear is also enabled by a recent Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) provision that allows local electricity providers within its jurisdiction to source 5% of their power from renewables developed by entities other than TVA. Local power company Paris BPU, which serves Henry County, is among the first to use the provision. The solar farm allows the utility to offer its first green tariff, which allows local companies to purchase the environmental attributes the new solar provides and helps meet their own renewable energy targets cost effectively in their own backyards.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest from local businesses, and we’re pleased we can help them meet their targets while also generating revenue that helps keep our rates stable for our customers,” comments Terry Wimberley, Paris BPU’s president and CEO. “As part of Silicon Ranch, Clearloop’s partnership with Rivian showed us how as a rural power company we can use renewable energy certificates as an economic development tool for our community.”