Connexus Energy’s headquarters can now be powered entirely by carbon free energy.
The energy cooperative announced last month that the addition of three solar gardens have increased the amount of green energy in its portfolio enough to fully power the Ramsey campus.
“As we continue to add more renewable energy to our power portfolio, we are able to offer our residential and commercial members more options to go green,” Connexus Energy CEO Greg Ridderbusch said. “How green they want to be is up to the individual businesses. Increasingly more commercial customers are realizing renewable energy is the way of the future. For them, it makes good business sense.”
Previously, a quarter of the campus’s 3.7 million kilowatts per hour could be supplied by renewable energy, but recent expansions now produce enough energy to cover it all.
The new power is coming from facilities opened in December 2018 that produce 10 megawatts of power, enough to supply energy to around 7,900 homes, Ridderbusch said.
Because energy on the grid can’t really be delineated from one source to one facility, the bar for considering a facility fully renewable is in how the power is counted.
Connexus produces enough energy from renewables to power the campus – though energy on the grid could come from a variety of sources.
“It’s not that you have all the solar panels right on top of the facility that you’re saying is 100% green,” Ridderbusch said. “It’s just you use the fact that you’re generating enough overall in the system to make it green.”
Connexus has pushed for renewable energies because its members want it. Through membership surveys approximately 80% of members said they want renewables, as long as it doesn’t increase their rates, Ridderbusch said.
The current market for electricity and renewable resources has made that possible, Ridderbusch said.
On top of the renewable energy, Connexus has pollinator-friendly plantings that serve as ground cover.
Those plants not only help pollinators like bees, they also mean Connexus has bee hives and produces its own honey – which is a pretty sweet deal.