Outdoor gear manufacturer and environmental champion, Patagonia, announced that it’s making a $13 million tax equity investment in solar power in Hawaii. The investment is part of a $27 million fund the company created with Hawaiian solar finance company Kina‘ole Capital Partners, LLC. In all the funding will help more than 1,000 homeowners in Hawaii to go solar.
Homeowners in Hawaii currently pay three times the U.S. average price for electricity, according to Patagonia. The solar financier will make the fund available to all qualified solar installation companies in Hawaii.
“This is smart business for Patagonia and good news for homeowners in Hawaii, who pay way too much for dirty electricity,” said Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario. “I hope other companies see how this strategy can bring strong returns and think seriously about doing the same thing. Business is in a unique position to accelerate the creation of renewable energy infrastructure.”
The overwhelming majority of electricity on the Hawaiian Islands comes from diesel-powered generators. At this point renewable energy only provides about 10 percent of Hawaii’s electricity production. But the state is quickly adding more renewable energy even though one of its utilities just reduced some plans to do solar rooftops.
Patagonia is making the investment through its $20 Million & Change fund. The company launched the fund last year to help innovative startup companies bring about solutions to the environmental crisis and other positive change through business, the company said.
“We are both extremely excited to have Patagonia become our partner in this venture as its leadership in the area of environmental responsibility aligns perfectly with our business model of displacing expensive, dirty electricity,” said Kina‘ole founders Blair Herbert and Andrew Yani. “Patagonia’s team has been amazing to work with and quickly saw this as a perfect investment opportunity to offer affordable, renewable energy to the people of Hawaii.”
Patagonia, a registered B-Company, is also encouraging other companies to follow similar investment strategies, “Doing good business by helping the planet.” The company also provided a roadmap for organizations interested in leveraging tax dollars with to build out more renewable energy.Tweet