Leveraging offsite solar across distributed storefrontsHow Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are able to advance their sustainability goals and increase community solar access
Community Solar CASE STUDY
In 2022, Dollar Tree and its consultant, NRG Energy, issued a request for proposal (RFP) looking for the right partner to help them advance their sustainability goals. Dollar Tree Inc., which includes the brands Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, operates more than 16,000 stores across 48 states and Canada. At the time of the RFP, Dollar Tree was looking for a community solar partner to help them reduce scope 1 and scope 2 emissions across retail stores and distribution centers. The company has since expanded that goal with plans to set a new science-based target in 2024 that will ultimately result in achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
Community solar is the fastest growing sector within the solar industry, with the US community solar market forecasted to grow 118% through 2027. Having anchor offtakers like Dollar Tree is crucial for the success of these projects. In New York, commercial companies can offtake up to 40% of the clean energy generated by a project with the remaining 60% going to the surrounding community, including moderate to low-income homes and small businesses. Anchor offtakers help make community solar projects financially viable. Due to DSD’s extensive expertise in the New York community solar market with 160 MW of solar and storage projects developed and deployed in the state, Dollar Tree chose DSD to help advance their sustainability goals with offsite solar.
With Dollar Tree as its major anchor subscriber, DSD kicked off the creation of a 41.75-megawatt (MW) Community Solar portfolio spanning seven projects across New York State. The projects are located in East Syracuse (1.8 MW), Cortland (2.7 MW), Remsen (1.9MW), Medina (1.7 MW + 2.9 MW), Silver Creek (3.0 MW) and Brier Hill (2.8 MW). By leveraging community solar, Dollar Tree is supporting their sustainability goals and benefiting the surrounding communities and small businesses without having to install solar onsite.
“Serving as an anchor subscriber will power our facilities with renewable energy and help us toward reaching our 2031 targets, while avoiding the upfront costs and other requirements of installing onsite solar solutions.”
Chief Sustainability Officer
Dollar Tree Inc.
The seven community solar projects are estimated to generate 55.77 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean energy annually — the equivalent of avoiding 41,841 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. Dollar Tree will offtake 16.67 MW of the portfolio (28 GWh/year) offsetting 29% of energy needs across 184 Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores in New York.
“Not only are we determined to help Dollar Tree reach their energy goals, but their participation as an anchor offtaker introduces the backing needed to more readily deploy our projects, opening up access to communities that may not have had a chance to partake in these programs otherwise.”
Community Solar Manager
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