In an effort to increase its sustainability, First Interstate Bank, a community bank located throughout 14 Western and Midwestern states, has made a 20-year subscription agreement with two community solar gardens in Iowa and Oregon. Community solar gardens are collaborative solar projects built by utility providers that allow subscribers the opportunity to receive locally generated renewable energy.
“We’ve been searching for impactful ways to increase our sustainability efforts while continuing to demonstrate our commitment to the communities we serve,” said Kevin P. Riley, First Interstate’s President and CEO. “Participating in these community solar gardens helps us achieve both these goals.”
The first solar garden, Alliant Energy Community Solar – Cedar Rapids, located in Iowa, will offset 100% of First Interstate’s Scope 2 emissions generated from its electricity consumption at 19 of its 45 Iowa locations. The solar garden is currently under construction and is marked for completion in early 2024.
The second solar garden, Burlingame Solar, developed by Greenkey Development near Brownsville, Oregon, is a 2.1 MW alternating current project that will offset nearly 80% of First Interstate’s Scope 2 emissions at 22 of its 32 Oregon locations. Construction on the solar garden will begin in Q1 2024 with energy production commencing in Q3 2024.
“We’ve learned that businesses, like First Interstate, are increasingly interested in solar and renewables as efficient ways to meet sustainability goals,” said May Farlinger, Vice President of Customer and Community Engagement for Alliant Energy. “The simplicity and flexibility of community solar allows companies, especially those with multiple locations, to benefit from clean energy without the need to build, operate and maintain their own systems.”
First Interstate is the first bank to partner with both solar gardens, subscribing to 15% of Alliant Energy Community Solar’s energy and 22% of Burlingame Solar’s energy.