Red Wing Shoe Co. will soon be getting about 25 percent of its electricity in Minnesota from solar power.

The shoe maker said Thursday that it recently signed a 25-year agreement with Houston, Texas-based NRG Energy to buy power from two NRG solar projects, one each in Olmstead and Dodge counties.

The electricity should be flowing sometime in the second quarter.

The NRG projects are being built under Xcel Energy’s Community Solar Garden program, which was mandated by the Minnesota legislature in 2013. The solar gardens are aimed at businesses and residents who want solar power, but don’t want to -- or are unable to -- put in their own solar arrays.

Red Wing Shoe, based in the town for which it’s named, has subscribed to 40 percent of the two NRG projects’ combined output of 6 megawatts (a megawatt is a million watts).  The power will feed Red Wing Shoe’s plants, warehouses and headquarters in Minnesota.

The shoe maker said in a press statement that not only does the solar power deal help with environmental sustainability, it will result in “significant, long-term cost savings."

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