Solar Builder 2018 Bronze Project of the Year: Gallup River Plain Solar Farm

Solar Builder Project of the year bronze

Standard Solar Inc., a nationwide solar energy development and financing company, put in a ton of work in all phases of development to complete a 9.8-MW solar project for the City of Gallup, N.M.

“We’re excited that our unique ability to finance this project played a role in bringing it to its completion,” says Scott Wiater, president and CEO of Standard Solar. “City officials at all levels were committed to making this project a success, and it was an honor for us to be involved.”

Found in the Flood

Bronze_Gallup Solar Farm_Pic3

Gallup River Plain Solar Farm | Gallup, N.M. | 9.8 MW

  • Developer: Standard Solar, Mangan Renewables, Wiser Capital
  • Contractor: M Electric Inc.
  • Modules: REC
  • Inverters: ABB
  • Racking: GameChange Solar

The land for this project was located in a 100-year floodplain, which meant designing a system to withstand the conditions created by a flood of that magnitude. Standard Solar found a company that could design both the racking system and the pile foundations supporting it, but in its design process, they determined the major factor contributing to the pile design shouldn’t be the base-flood elevation condition, but the wind load — and designed it accordingly.

The PV array was elevated to prevent maximum expected flood waters from reaching the PV modules and other critical electrical components. The ground clearance of the PV array, when at maximum tilt, ranges from 3 ft on the east side to 6 ft on the west side. The inverters and combiner boxes were also all installed at heights designed to exceed maximum water levels.

Additionally, though the site was only 8 MWac, it required two separate points of interconnection to avoid overloading a single feeder on the City of Gallup’s Alison substation. The site was split into two 4-MWac interconnections to two separate feeders.

Bronze_ City of Gallup

On the financial side, Standard Solar negotiated a power-purchase agreement that did not require any upfront cost to complete the installation of the solar power plant. Even better, the city will pay the solar firm a flat rate for the production generated by the system over 20 years.

“This array will have a huge impact on the City of Gallup and its future,” says Richard Matzke, Gallup electric director. “When the opportunity to protect our environment and save our citizens’ money presented itself, we were thrilled to take advantage. We appreciate everyone involved in the project for helping us bring it to fruition.”

The solar farm is expected to generate more than 20 million kWh of power annually saving the city approximately $785,000 and providing nearly 10 percent of the city’s energy use. The solar farm, constructed on approximately 31 acres of city-owned land south of Interstate Highway 40, will generate enough electricity to power 2,500 homes and offset production of 3,500,000 lbs of carbon dioxide annually. The project provided local employment opportunities for 58 jobs during the construction phase and two ongoing positions.

Standard Solar financed the project and will own and operate the array. Mangan Renewables, a division of Mangan Inc., developed the project in partnership with Wiser Capital and their proprietary underwriting platform.

— Solar Builder magazine

PCI Solar develops solar 1.8-MW project at brownfield site in Wasco, Calif.

PCI Solar

PCI Solar has completed construction of a 1.8-MW solar array for the City of Wasco in California. The project, developed by Siemens, is part of California’s RES-BCT program, which allows a local government with one or more eligible renewable generating facilities to export energy to the grid and receive generation credits to benefitting accounts of the same Local Government. The energy from the array will virtually offset some of the energy from various buildings operated by the City of Wasco.

The project is located on a previous landfill site and is a brownfield development. The 1.8 MW of DC power will be provided by (5346) Silfab 345 watt panels and utilize (27) ABB Trio 50 KW inverters. So as not to disturb the soil, the panels were mounted on a GameChange ballasted racking systems and surrounded by a ballasted protective fence.

— Solar Builder magazine

GameChange Solar expands capital introduction program to $3 billion to fund new projects

capital introduction game change

The prospect of lost solar industry capacity and jobs looms in the background thanks to this ITC decision, but this doesn’t appear to faze GameChange Solar, which is now expanding its capital introduction program to over $3 billion in available capital to fund solar projects in both the U.S. and worldwide. The program is primarily in concert with seven leading funding sources, two of which are large utility backed power generation companies and the other five of which are leading IPPs.

GameChange Solar works with IPPs, Private Equity Firms, utilities and other entities looking to invest in and own projects. GameChange introduces them to developers, EPCs and others who are looking to build projects. This enables more projects to be financed and built, furthering our mission to repower the planet with cleaner energy.

“Capital intro is critical for the growth of the solar industry,” said Andrew Worden, CEO of GameChange Solar. “Being located in New York City where there is a growing community of private equity and hedge funds seeking to invest in solar PV projects. Having invested over $500,000,000 over the past 20 years from the investment funds I have run have enabled us to build relationships with many investment funds and other investors. We are located in the epicenter of finance in the United States, right here in Manhattan, and this proximity coupled with working knowledge of what investors seek positions GameChange Solar to be able to provide capital intro to our customers to our mutual benefit. This will be an increasing value added service we will provide to help us, our customers, the investors, and most importantly of all, the solar industry’s growth rate.”

— Solar Builder magazine

GameChange Solar expands capital program, $2 billion now available to fund U.S. solar projects

GameChange Solar has expanded its capital introduction program to fund solar projects across the United States to over $2 billion in available capital. The program is primarily in concert with five leading funding sources, two of which are large utility backed power generation companies and the other three of which are leading IPPs.

GameChange introduces projects that are being developed to the funding sources, enabling more projects to be financed and built. Recent introductions have yielded several marriages that have resulted in utility scale solar projects being built with financing received by developers.

Inside the new, improved decentralized tracker from GameChange Solar

If you have a project that needs financing to build which is anywhere from early stage to shovel ready, or if you are a funding source looking for projects to finance and/or buy, please reach out to your business development representative at GameChange for more information on this program.

Andrew Worden, CEO of GameChange Solar, stated: “There are many projects that are looking for the capital to build them. With my previous background in finance and project development, we have the understanding of how projects are financed and the needs of both developers and financiers. We are able to see the correct fits between projects and capital and make the appropriate introductions. Our goal is to help facilitate more solar power plants to be built which furthers our mission of repowering this planet with cost effective, clean and renewable solar energy.”

— Solar Builder magazine

GameChange Solar adds two new roll forming locations in the South

GameChange Solar announced that it added two additional roll forming locations in Alabama and Georgia to service the southeast market for fixed tilt and single axis tracker solar support structures.

gamechange solar roll form

Andrew Worden, CEO of GameChange Solar, stated: “We anticipate expansion to approximately 2GW sales in 2017, driven by heavy customer demand for our bankable quality, value prices solar mounting structures. Therefore we have added substantial manufacturing capacity in the Georgia and Alabama to provide unprecedented turnaround time to service our valued customers in the Southeast.”

— Solar Builder magazine