As a microbiologist and cofounder of Tucson’s Borderlands Brewing, Mike Mallozzi wants to do his part to help save the planet – and ultimately, his beer.

Climates where barley and hops grow are fragile. It can take years, for example, for a hop plant to establish itself and produce full yields. “There’s a real risk that drought and extreme heat will make crops even more vulnerable, and there’s no real solution on the horizon,” he said.

Part of the answer is using more renewable energy, he said.

Borderlands leases its downtown space, so a convenient option for Mallozzi and cofounder, Es Teran, was to participate in TEP’s GoSolar Shares program. It offers businesses an easy and affordable way to go solar. Instead of having to invest in and install rooftop solar panels, customers can purchase solar energy produced locally by TEP’s large community-scale solar arrays.

“As a scientist by training, I’m more keenly aware than most about the serious nature of climate change and what it’s doing to the planet,” said Mallozzi. “There’s going to be significant human impact – but I’m also aware of what it’s going to do to industry.”

With GoSolar, each share of 150 kilowatt-hours adds just $1.50 to the monthly electric bill. It also locks in power supply costs for 20 years to hedge against rate increases. Small- and medium-sized businesses can participate in the program and cancel at any time.

“For businesses that care about reducing their carbon footprint, this is an easy way to support that shift without having to worry about purchasing or maintaining equipment or absorbing price increases,” said David Couture, Manager of Business Development for TEP.

Community-scale solar is one way that TEP is reducing its reliance on coal by 41 percent by 2022. In fact, with three new large wind, solar and storage systems underway, TEP expects to provide more than 28 percent of its power from renewable resources in 2021, nearly doubling the state’s renewable energy requirements of 15 percent by 2025.

Borderlands has participated in the program since it was introduced. In addition to Mallozzi’s personal advocacy around water conservation and protecting biodiversity with community partners such as Arizona Audobon, Borderlands also uses the Brewer Association’s sustainability tools to analyze its water and energy use and to compare best practices with other breweries.

Mallozzi said ultimately, being a good environmental steward is just good business.

“More and more, companies are realizing that consumers are voting with their dollars, and they’re going to have to respond to the ethics of millennials who want to know that the companies they support are making real efforts around sustainability,” he said.

To learn more about the program, go to the GoSolar Shares webpage on or call 520-623-7711.

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