Solar developer Silicon Ranch has officially acquired tech company Clearloop, which was founded by Silicon Ranch founding chairman Philip Bredesen, the former governor of Tennessee. Clearloop will continue to operate under its brand and be led by CEO and co-founder Laura Zapata. Both companies are based in Nashville and will share office space at Silicon Ranch’s headquarters downtown. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Clearloop expands Silicon Ranch’s offering to the growing number of corporate buyers seeking a wider range of options to meet not only their renewable energy targets, but also their decarbonization and broader ESG goals. Clearloop’s mission of cleaning up the grid in communities otherwise getting left behind by using tangible, traceable carbon offsets ties the social benefits directly with the environmental and economic impacts of new renewable energy projects.
“Silicon Ranch’s investment in Clearloop is a major vote of confidence in our team and our vision for a tangible climate solution and will help power our work for the long-term with a trusted partner,” Zapata said. “Individually, our companies have pioneered innovations in the renewable energy and carbon markets. Together, we will unlock even more innovation to support growing corporate climate ambitions and maximize the environmental, economic, and social impact of solar development for communities across our country. We look forward to fulfilling that promise and ensuring that no community gets left behind as we strive for an equitable transition to a decarbonized economy.”
Clearloop sites renewable energy projects not only in communities that will reap the most economic benefits from that investment, but also where new utility-scale solar will remove the most carbon from the grid. Clearloop recently broke ground on the first solar farm in the nation to be financed by corporate carbon offsets in Jackson, Tennessee, with the support of established companies such as Intuit and Vista Equity Partners, along with direct-to-consumer brands such as Dropps and Hello Bello.
“Since Silicon Ranch’s inception, long-term power purchase agreements have driven the growth of renewable energy deployment,” said Reagan Farr, Silicon Ranch co-founder and CEO. “Today, carbon is becoming an increasingly influential driver in corporate power purchasing decisions, creating an opportunity to decarbonize the grid at a faster pace and scale if we can expand opportunities for more companies to take action. To this end, we have made great strides with our transformative model of land management, Regenerative Energy, and now this partnership with Clearloop enables us to help our corporate customers offset their carbon footprint with yet another science-based, innovative solution.”
While more than 300 companies have committed to power their operations with 100% renewable energy, many of these businesses are taking the next big step toward net-zero goals, which drives them to consider the emissions avoided as a result of their clean energy procurement, rather than the traditional emphasis on solely counting the megawatt hours. In particular, these organizations are seeking to clean up their supply chains, which represent their Scope 3 emissions and typically account for approximately 75% of the carbon footprint for most businesses.
Silicon Ranch’s acquisition of Clearloop constitutes a notable break from traditional carbon offset practice. Typically, stakes in offsets from alternative energy production have been sold to corporations via third parties such as carbon registry brokers. This use of middlemen with outdated or poorly regulated carbon registries often clouds the source of the offset credit and gives the buyer little to no tangible evidence of impact.
By directly linking new, additional clean energy capacity to the carbon emissions avoided in local communities where the solar projects are constructed, the partnership between Silicon Ranch and Clearloop has the potential to accelerate climate change mitigation efforts and incentives across the United States.