Officials for Andersen Corp. recently announced that 100 percent of the electricity used by one of the company’s Minnesota-based facilities is now derived from solar energy. The announcement comes just weeks after the company received one of DWM’s Green Awards in the category of Achievement. The Cottage Grove, Minn.-based facility is used to produce Renewal by Andersen brand products, which are made of a wood-plastic composite-based material the company refers to as Fibrex. Officials say the plant’s electricity is now sourced from nearby community solar gardens.

“We are honored to be recognized for our environmental leadership, but also know that our journey isn’t over,” says Eliza Clark, director of sustainability and community at Andersen. “We are united around a desire to continue working hard every day to make the world a better place.”

Two years ago, Andersen signed subscription agreements to join Xcel Energy’s Minnesota solar rewards community, which officials say provides the company with credits each month on its utility bill.

“Andersen was an early adopter of Xcel Energy’s community solar program, because subscribing to solar gardens allowed us to help provide anchor funding for new solar on the grid, while also reducing our operating expenses,” says Clark. “The long contract term of those agreements also sends a strong signal that we are committed to sustainability for the long haul.”

According to company officials, the Cottage Grove plant currently subscribes to 26 solar gardens that have produced 6.5 megawatts of electricity for Andersen since August 2018—roughly equal to 103 percent of the Cottage Grove facility’s electrical usage. The connection has netted approximately $49,000 of cost savings for the company since January 2018, according to Andersen officials.

“Given Andersen’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, and in the face of mounting concerns about climate change, the move to clean power is a good one―both for us as a company, and for the planet,” says Renewal by Andersen president Paul Delahunt. “Community subscriptions and joint agreements mean that it isn’t just the giant companies like Google or Facebook who can play a role in the renewable energy movement―small and mid-size companies can make a difference, too.”

The Solar Rewards program is also being used at Andersen’s Bayport, Minn.-based manufacturing facility.

“The community solar subscriptions are the beginning of a broader effort to expand our use of renewable energy across more of our manufacturing sites,” Clark says.

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