Wendy’s enrolls in community solar to power 130 locations

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Community solar provider Ampion Renewable Energy is partnering with The Wendy’s Company to help the restaurant chain source renewable energy. By signing onto community solar projects, companies like Wendy’s support the generation of renewable electricity for local grids.

Nearly 100 company-operated Wendy’s restaurants and nearly 40 franchise restaurants in New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts are now enrolled in Ampion+, a product that enables organizations t secure renewable energy certificates (RECs). RECs are a green power procurement strategy that electricity consumers, such as Wendy’s, use to substantiate renewable electricity use claims.

The result of the agreement, according to Ampion, is that the enrolled restaurants will source between 30% and 100% of their energy from solar without the need to install solar panels onsite. Wendy’s plans to increase the number of restaurants enrolled in Ampion’s community solar program as additional solar generation capacity comes online and more franchise restaurants enroll in the program.

“We are excited about the opportunity this partnership provides our Company and franchise restaurant operators by making it easier and more accessible to source clean energy while ultimately realizing cost savings,” said Steven Derwoed, vice president, global design & construction at Wendy’s. “We are advancing progress toward our emissions reduction goals through community solar participation and RECs. It’s a win-win for the Company and our franchisees.”

Last year, Wendy’s set near-term science-based targets to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 47%, and Scope 3 emissions from franchisees by 47% per restaurant by 2030, from a 2019 baseline.

Through Ampion, Wendy’s locations have enrolled approximately 27.5 million kWh in community solar or the equivalent electricity needed for 2,200 homes for one year. Each kilowatt hour will be accounted for, tracked, and assigned ownership to a specific restaurant location via RECs through the Ampion+ product.

“As the need for reducing carbon emissions grows, community solar combined with RECs provides a solution for environmental sustainability in the corporate sector that is both achievable and affordable, while enabling companies to quantify and disclose their progress in a standardized manner,” said Nate Owen, CEO and founder of Ampion. “We’re seeing more large companies actively seeking sustainable solutions through community solar. This partnership with Wendy’s demonstrates that Ampion is able to support these organizations in reducing emissions and putting more renewable energy on the grid for local communities.”

Community solar is expanding rapidly in the U.S. with 22 states, including Washington D.C. that have policies supporting third-party shared or community solar. According to the Coalition for Community Solar Access, 6.6 GW of community solar generation capacity has been installed to date, and Wood Mackenzie’s most recent U.S. community solar market outlook predicts that there will be 14 GW power installed across the country by the end of 2028.

Earlier this year, Ampion surpassed 1 GW of community solar generation under management. Currently active in nine states and counting, Ampion acquires and manages subscribers of all types, from housing authorities, municipalities, and enterprises such as Wendy’s, to small businesses and residential subscribers. Ampion reports that it acquired thousands of low-to-moderate income subscribers in 2023, expanding access to those who need savings the most.

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