Tops Markets LLC and Convergent Energy + Power, a provider of energy storage solutions, have joined forces to deliver more renewable energy to more than 75 of the grocer’s stores, in the form of farms pairing community solar with battery storage. Convergent’s solar-plus-storage projects provide access to solar energy regardless of whether the sun is shining and reduce New York state’s reliance on power plants during peak demand hours.
“Our ongoing commitment to sustainability is met with enthusiasm and resolve every day, as we work to ensure we leave our communities — and our planet — better for the next generation,” noted John Persons, president and COO of Tops. “We are excited to be working with Convergent, a values-aligned business with the expertise to deliver solar energy to our stores as efficiently as possible.”
Convergent, founded in 2011, develops energy storage-led assets, with about half of its portfolio comprising battery storage paired with solar PV, or solar-plus-storage.
“We are enormously proud of the opportunity to simultaneously reduce emissions and support economic growth right here in our home state,” said Frank Genova, chief operating and financial officer of Toronto-based Convergent. “As the largest private employer in western New York, Tops is an ideal, New York-headquartered partner that shares our commitment to corporate, social, and environmental responsibility.”
Community solar-plus-storage, facilitated by the Value of Distributed Energy Resource tariff in New York, enables solar energy from off-site arrays and is an increasingly popular way to boost access to renewable generation. According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the program has reduced CO2e emissions in the state by 9.1 million metric tons. The projects support New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which aims for 70% of New York’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
Williamsville, New York-based Tops operates 157 supermarkets, with five additional franchise stores, and employs 14,500 associates in New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont. The company is No. 63 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.