Harnessing the Sun: IBI Data installs solar array to become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly

IBI Data President Geoff Smith stands in front of the solar panels being installed behind the business in Brownsdale. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Brownsdale MN, August 28, 2019

IBI Data is making a major clean energy investment that will reduce their energy costs by as much as 63% in future years. IBI Data is installing a 40 KW pollinator-friendly solar array and has completed a major lighting retrofit; replacing fluorescent and metal halide bulbs with new LED fixtures. The 40 KW solar array is the largest that can take full advantage of net metering with their local utility provider.

“Our cautious estimates were for a 52% energy savings, so we’ve been thrilled to see how things are coming together,’ Geoff Smith, president of IBI Data said, “This project was not only the right thing to do for the environment, it has made tremendous business sense for us as a company.”

Smith said that the Minnesota MinnPACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing was key to making this investment now. MinnPACE provides financing to businesses, farmers, and non-profits, that is typically used for things like solar panels, HVAC systems, lighting, motors, and other energy efficiency improvements; this allows property owners to invest with no up-front cost and then repay it from money they save. Federal tax credits and REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) grants helped make for an extremely good investment for IBI Data. “With MinnPACE the ROI went from multiple years to instantaneous. We’ve been cash-flow positive from day one. I would strongly encourage Minnesota farmers and other businesses to look into this great opportunity,” said Smith.

The improvements are projected to save IBI Data nearly $900,000 in energy use over time. This represents the environmental equivalent of not burning 3.7 million pounds of coal or of planting 88,000 trees.

“Our clients are as concerned about the planet as anyone, they want a partner that shares their values while controlling costs,” said Nathan Redman, Vice President of IBI Data, “The staff here takes pride in giving back and in being good stewards of the places we live and work. We’ve recently expanded our eco-friendly offerings such as biodegradable coolers for frozen sampling and had a major staff-led drive to reduce paper use”.

IBI Data was founded in 1986 by Katherine Harte and provides data driven marketing services to manufacturers and businesses from around the world. IBI Data specializes in the foodservice sector and provides a wide array of services including: web design, e-commerce, food-safe warehousing, sample fulfillment, lead qualification and follow-up, rebate processing, loyalty programs, telemarketing, direct marketing, customized databased solutions, and web-based applications, and many others. IBI Data has received multiple awards for being one of the best places to work in Minnesota and the region.

Geoff Smith
IBI Data
507 567-2701

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