Greenskies Executive Discusses Lowes RFP which Landed the Company 54 Rooftop Installations

New Project Media | Staff
June 5, 2023

Greenskies Clean Focus was one of three developers selected by Lowes Companies to develop a portion of rooftop solar projects at nearly 175 locations across the country as part of the company’s goals of reaching 50 percent renewable energy for its facilities by 2030.

“A big box retailer like that is an attractive target for C&I solar customers and they very much fit the profile of the kind of companies we like to work with—multisite installations over a broad geographic area is one of the things we specialize in,” said Jeff Hintzke, Greenskies Vice President of Policy and New Markets, in an interview with NPM.

DSD Renewables and Infiniti Energy were the other two developers selected in a somewhat private RFP process that went out to just a few developers, Hintzke said.

Greenskies responded to the RFP in summer 2022 and was awarded 54 projects in California—52 stores and two distribution centers—in fall 2022.

DSD was awarded the other portion of the California portfolio--55 stores in California and 36 stores and three distribution centers in Illinois. Construction is expected to begin at all sites by the end of 2023. Infiniti Energy was awarded 20 stores in New Jersey currently operational and panel installations at six additional Lowe's stores in the state which are under development and expected to go live later this year, according to the press release.

Hintzke said Greenskies had been collaborating with Lowes energy team for about three years prior.

“Early 2022, they started ramping up their activities and wanting to look more thoroughly at parts of their portfolio,” Hintzke said. Greenskies helped guide Lowes in identifying attractive areas for growth and return on investments.

The initial set of target locations were split up by states—California, New Jersey, and Illinois.

Greenskies was awarded a portion of the California portfolio, with projects in every main utility in the state and about eight in municipal utility territories or irrigation districts. This spans as far north as Redding and as far south as San Diego, Hintzke said.

Projects needed to be submitted for interconnection and accepted by April 15.

“We have submitted interconnections for all of the projects, and we’ve got approval for a good chunk of them already,” Hintzke said, adding that they are also submitting permits on a rolling basis.

They are on track to begin construction on their first project this month. Construction will be subcontracted with Greenskies overseeing the projects. Hintzke anticipates they will be constructing about four or five projects at a time through the end of 2024.

Under a PPA, Lowes will be the full off taker of the net-metered projects, which will provide about 90 percent of the energy usage at each location. Greenskies will be the long-term owners and operators of the assets, according to Hintzke.

Aside from Lowe’s California projects, Greenskies is growing organically in other parts of the country—some sparked by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

“We’re seeing more growth in the east coast through the mid-Atlantic—Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey. We’re active in Illinois as well,” Hintzke said, adding they are also actively watching New Mexico.

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