Solar Frontier shifts into independent power producer role with huge solar project acquisition

Solar Frontier Americas continues to develop its pipeline of over 1 gigawatt of utility scale solar power generation plants

Solar Frontier Americas (SFA) continues to develop its pipeline of over 1 GW of utility-scale solar power generation plants. The SFA completed solar project pictured is located in Southern California.

Canadian Solar’s wholly owned subsidiary Recurrent Energy LLC completed the sale of its 150 MW ac/210 MWp Mustang Two solar project to Solar Frontier Americas, which is starting to get into the independent power producer business.

“With this important acquisition, SFA further expands its U.S. business to become an independent power producer, an owner of operating electric power facilities,” said Charles Pimentel, CEO of Solar Frontier Americas’ IPP business unit. “We already have a substantial greenfield pipeline and are actively acquiring utility-scale projects and development assets to further scale our business.”

Located on 1,400 acres in Kings County, California, the Mustang Two project is expected to create approximately 400 jobs during peak construction. In this partnership, Recurrent Energy will continue to manage the development of the project, readying it for construction; Solar Frontier Americas will finance and manage the construction of the project, which is slated to achieve commercial operation in 2020. The project will then be operated by Solar Frontier Americas’ growing independent power producer (“IPP”) business.

Once the project is operational, the energy generated by the solar power facility will be split between two long-term power purchase agreements: Peninsula Clean Energy (the community choice energy agency which serves San Mateo County) is contracted to receive 100 MWac, and the Modesto Irrigation District will acquire 50 MWac. The combined energy generation from the two PPAs will power 37,500 homes with clean electricity.

“The Mustang Two transaction is the latest example of the strong demand we see globally for Canadian Solar’s high quality solar assets, given our ability to partner at various points in a project’s development.” said Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar. “We are pleased to partner in this transaction with Solar Frontier Americas, given its extensive solar project development and construction experience.”

— Solar Builder magazine

ComEd commercial customers can now sumbit for solar system rebates ($250 per kW)

comed solar rebate

Commercial and industrial ComEd customers can begin submitting applications for rebates of $250 per kilowatt of installed solar energy, a deal that was approved last month by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The rebate will reduce up-front installation costs and spur renewable energy development, and it is available to ComEd business customers who adopted solar after June 1, 2017.

Rebate amounts will be based on the capacity of a company’s solar project. A 1,000-kilowatt project, for example, will be eligible for a rebate of $250,000. Rebates will be fulfilled within 60 days of receipt of a completed application.

“Our new rebate program is a strong demonstration of the commitment we’re making to increase access to renewable energy and create new value and more choices for our customers,” said Veronica Gomez, senior vice president of regulatory and energy policy, ComEd. “This is an important milestone for ComEd and for customers seeking clean energy alternatives, and it will further reinforce Illinois’ growing reputation for energy innovation.”

The rebate is also available to community supply project owners, operators or customers receiving community supply service. Owners or operators of a community supply project produce and provide energy to the grid, while subscribers to the project receive credits based on their share of the total energy produced.

This rebate program rewards commercial and industrial customers for generating clean energy much like ComEd’s residential net metering customers already receive credits on their bill when they produce more energy than they use with a private solar energy system installed at their home.

— Solar Builder magazine

Xcel Energy tabs SunShare to build six new community solar gardens in Colorado

SunShare community solar

SunShare was selected in a competitive bidding process by Xcel Energy to develop six new community solar gardens totaling 12 MWdc and will be able to serve more than 2,500 residential households in the Denver metro area as well as additional municipal, governmental, and educational entities.

“We’re very proud that SunShare will be able to continue our mission of bringing community solar to residential customers. We look forward to building our first 100 percent residential community solar gardens in Colorado and appreciate Xcel Energy’s commitment to this program,” said David Amster-Olszewski, SunShare’s founder and CEO. “The entire concept of community solar was created to enable people who can’t install solar panels on their rooftops to have access to the benefits of solar power. Many developers across the country focus on obtaining commercial subscribers, but SunShare’s mission has always been to give more individual consumers powerful options for contributing to a healthier environment.”

Xcel Energy shows its path to 100 percent renewable generation by 2050

The six community solar gardens will service approximately 2,600 subscribers upon completion with construction expected to start in 2019. SunShare expects the individual solar gardens to be located in Jefferson County, Adams County, and Arapahoe County. SunShare has now completed more than 27 MW of community solar gardens in Colorado.

“We are pleased to be able to continue to bring our customers programs that meet their energy needs in a zero-carbon manner,” said Jerome Davis, regional vice president, Xcel Energy—Colorado. “The continued participation in these voluntary programs such as Renewable*Connect, Solar*Rewards, and Solar*Rewards Community shows Coloradans preference for reliable, clean, and low-cost energy that we are proud to deliver.”

SunShare has helped build the community solar programs in Colorado and Minnesota, the nation’s first and largest, both of which are part of Xcel Energy’s service area. Community solar gardens enable homeowners, renters, government organizations, and small businesses that may not otherwise have the ability to install solar panels on their home or building to participate in and benefit from renewable energy.

— Solar Builder magazine

Colorado launches green bank clean energy fund to help achieve climate goals

colorado green bank

Colorado’s Climate Plan is getting a shot in the arm thanks to a new Colorado Clean Energy Fund, launched by Gov. John Hickenlooper, the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and the Coalition for Green Capital. The nonprofit Colorado Clean Energy Fund will bring the “green bank” model to Colorado, drawing on the success of institutions in other states such as NY Green Bank and Connecticut Green Bank.

Green banks use mission-driven financing to leverage private investment in clean energy projects like community solar and energy efficiency. Green banks in the US have collectively mobilized more than $2 billion in clean energy investment.

With formation and operations support from the Coalition for Green Capital, the Colorado Clean Energy Fund will work with market participants to help mobilize capital and accelerate clean energy project development. The fund will seek to draw in and deploy capital from a diverse set of investors, including philanthropy. The fund will collaborate with NY Green Bank to ensure efficient, scalable and replicable financing opportunities are utilized to advance sustainable infrastructure across Colorado.

“Our goal in Colorado is to make sure we have the cleanest air and water possible,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Access to financing capital for clean energy projects will make our state an even bigger draw for businesses looking to move and invest here.”

The Colorado Clean Energy Fund builds on CEO’s current work to identify financing gaps in the energy sector and create market-responsive products to address them. CEO’s established network of partnerships will help the fund maximize investment throughout the state to reduce emissions, improve energy security, create jobs and expand economic growth.

— Solar Builder magazine

Energize Delaware funds solar + storage resiliency project at The Jefferson School

Energize Georgia

Top Row: Contance R. Hendricks (The Jefferson School), Jim Brown (EZEnergy), Andrea Kreiner (DNREC), Tony DePrima (Energize Delaware), Nick Benz (The Jefferson School Board of Directors). Bottom Row: The Jefferson School students.

Energize Delaware is pleased to have participated in The Jefferson School’s groundbreaking celebration for their new 141 kW solar array with battery backup. The system is part of larger expansion of The Jefferson School’s campus, and in keeping with the school’s commitment to sustainability.

“Solar with battery backup is key tool for organizations looking to improve their resiliency,” said Tony DePrima, Executive Director of Energize Delaware. “In the event of an emergency, this system will allow The Jefferson School to continue running and serving the community.”

Energize Delaware loaned $981,500 to project developer Edison Power to make this project possible. The Energize Delaware Revolving Loan Fund provides low-interest loans to Delaware businesses, non-profits, and local governments to make their energy efficiency and renewable energy projects a reality.

The 141 kW system and its energy monitoring system also fits well into The Jefferson School’s curriculum, and will give teachers, students and community first-hand experience on how solar electricity and batteries work.

— Solar Builder magazine