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New MidwayUSA headquarters outfitted with large, utility-scale rooftop solar array.

Clean Power

MidwayUSA’s Record Solar Install Shows That Clean Energy Isn’t Just For Lefties in 2022

If you take a look around MidwayUSA’s website, you’ll figure out pretty quick that it is not one of today’s stereotypical big corporations that are self-conscious about displaying a progressive image to the world. Wikipedia says it sells “hunting and outdoor products,” which is true, but that could mean anything from REI to some doomsday prepper shop that sells used military gear to people who think the world is going to end. So, you’d have to look at the website itself to see where the bread and butter is:

A screenshot showing the top featured product categories at MidwayUSA.

If you’re familiar with the shooting sports and firearms training like I am, Midway is a name you’ll hear quite a bit. They sponsor popular hunting, shooting, and outdoor shows, among other things. When you find something on the site that you want, they’ll ask you if you want to round up to the next dollar to give the NRA a small donation (or give them more if you want).

Dig a little deeper, and they’ve got a whole page dedicated to talking up their support of the NRA, that says at the top:

“No company in America is more dedicated to and more supportive of the goals of the National Rifle Association than MidwayUSA.

Inside the MidwayUSA facility, most employees have NRA member and life member stickers beside their name plate. Most departments host a sign that says “100% NRA Department”. The Potterfield family is also a regular contributor to NRA Foundation endowments.”

So, yes, I’m not exaggerating when I say it is not your typical big corporation that wants to impress progressives. This alone puts it in pretty hot water with them.

But at the same time, it’s a company that gets the outdoors in a way that most of the city-dwelling people that hate them for this don’t. Midway will gladly sell you parts for an AR-15 or a concealed carry pistol (both things that are becoming popular in urban areas and the suburbs), but they’re also big on hunting and other outdoors activities. No matter one’s political leanings, if you’re regularly getting out there and seeing nature and the wilderness, you figure out pretty quick what a precious resource it is.

And, you want to protect it.

But, MidwayUSA doesn’t just put up a few pictures of its head honcho looking like Elmer Fudd with a break-0pen shotgun (something younger “tacticool” gun people may mock you for). It is putting its money where its mouth is on caring for the outdoors and nature with a record solar installation at its headquarters.

MidwayUSA’s new 300,000 square foot headquarters was outfitted with a 1.612 megawatt rooftop solar array — one of the largest in Missouri. In addition to contributing to its sustainability mission, it will also save the company up to $4,500,000 on energy costs over the next 20 years.

MidwayUSA chose EnergyLink to be the leading design-build contractor for its project. With certified NAESCO Energy Service Company status and over a decade of experience in solar energy, they were more than qualified to manage the utility scale solar project — from the auditing phase all the way through engineering, procurement, and construction.

“The MidwayUSA project is the new benchmark for corporations looking to be more sustainable,” remarked Jeremy Nolen, EnergyLink’s lead on the project.

“This is proof that, with the right ESCO, it’s possible to be more sustainable in an economically viable way.”

“We chose the most cost-effective solar panels, inverters, and racking products for the project to save our client money in both the short- and long-term. In fact, they’ll save over $150,000 in Year 1 alone as compared to not having installed any solar panels. And cumulatively, they’re projected to save $4.5 million dollars over 20 years!”

Once completed, the sustainable impact of the project is estimated to be significant. MidwayUSA would offset 2,176,200 kilowatts of electricity annually. This is equivalent to 3,399,528 pounds of CO2 emissions or 1,704,607 pounds worth of coal. Another way this could be put: it takes 187 million fewer smartphone charges per year than without the project.

There’s No Reason Even The Most Conservative Businesses, Organizations, & People Shouldn’t Go Solar

On the one hand, it’s easy to shrug this off and say that right-leaning people and companies are only going solar and embracing other clean energy because it makes financial sense now. While that’s true in many cases, there are even more reasons that conservatives should consider clean energy and EVs.

Ask any conservative, and they’ll tell you that things like national security, keeping America strong on the world stage, energy independence, and disaster preparedness are high priorities, politically speaking. As many readers now know, clean technologies do a lot to help with all of these things.

When it comes to national security, the supply of things like lithium, cobalt, and rare earth minerals are a big deal. Not only are they used in clean energy products, but they’re also used in critical things like medical imaging. With all of the things we do with these products, letting countries like China control them all leaves America in a bad position, and that’s not great for any America First philosophy.

Energy independence means using more energy made right here in the USA. While that often comes in the form of “Drill, baby, drill!” in the conservative mind, energy is energy. If you’re using solar energy instead of oil, that leaves more American oil for both domestic use and exporting instead of importing oil. I don’t think I have to explain the advantages there.

When it comes to disaster preparedness, both red and blue states have had problems with the grid. Obviously, that’s an issue that no side has a monopoly on. Decentralizing power production takes the strain off the grid and helps more Americans keep the lights on and keep businesses like Midway going even in bad weather, terror attacks, or anything else that can mess up power production.

So, this isn’t just a matter of the price being right. It’s something that’s great for outdoorsmen and awesome for the country. It’s a real win-win.

Featured image provided by EnergyLink.

 
 
 
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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to explore the Southwest US with her partner, kids, and animals. Follow her on Twitter for her latest articles and other random things: https://twitter.com/JenniferSensiba

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