Largest landfill solar project in Maryland completed by EDF Renewables, Solar FlexRack

solar flexrack landfill maryland

Led by national engineering, procurement and construction firm EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions, this 18.1 MW dc facility, known as the Annapolis Renewable Energy Park, is located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland and is the largest solar project on a closed landfill in the state. The project is owned by a subsidiary of Building Energy, was developed by BQ Energy, a company specializing in landfill and brownfield renewable energy projects, and used Solar FlexRack racking to complete the job.

The Annapolis Renewable Energy Park is remarkable for its size and complexity. The enormous facility spans 80 acres and was completed in mid-2018. The solar energy park will generate enough clean energy to power more than 12 percent of the city’s homes annually. In addition to gaining the reassurance of fixed, lower-cost clean energy for its clients and partners, the city is estimated to receive more than $250,000 annually by leasing the property to Building Energy.

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Building a renewable energy project on top of a capped landfill is an intricate project, and the expertise of racking provider Solar FlexRack proved invaluable for EDF Renewables. Unable to drill piles into the landfill’s protective membrane cap, Solar FlexRack utilized B3P-X pre-cast fixed tilt racking foundations for the more than 54,000 solar panels.

“Solar FlexRack’s expertise in this important niche market makes the company a perfect partner for landfill projects,” said Jamie Resor, CEO, EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions. “We are pleased to work with a firm that can provide the precise, high-quality product required to execute our vision for the Annapolis Renewable Energy Park.”

“EDF Renewables’ deep experience and technical capabilities make them an extraordinary leader in the field,” continued Steve Daniel, Executive Vice President of Solar FlexRack. “It was a pleasure to collaborate with them on the park, and we look forward to the next partnership opportunity.”

Solar FlexRack offers ballasted solar racking solutions for sites challenged with penetration, weight and other regulatory restrictions. The selection and quality of their products provide a wider choice for solar project engineers to design optimal performance into their solar systems.

— Solar Builder magazine

California subdivision gets ahead of the solar mandate, re-roofs with CertainTeed products

Solstice System Hi Res

Across the country, more subdivisions are choosing rooftop solar as a way to attract and retain earth-conscious home buyers. The California Energy Commission recently voted to mandate rooftop solar for all new California homes and multi-family residences under three stories. However, many communities are warming up to the benefits of solar without the state stepping in.

One such community is Blue Lagoon Condominiums in Laguna Beach, California. Its luxury condos are located on the ocean side of the Pacific Coast Highway on one of the sunniest beaches in California. As such, several Blue Lagoon residents had an interest in rooftop solar, both for the potential savings and the environmental benefits of using a renewable resource to power their homes.

The opportunity for Blue Lagoon to go solar arose recently when the Blue Lagoon Homeowners Association (HOA) made the decision to replace the roof shingles on the community’s 119 homes.

Luke Roofing, Inc. of Laguna Hills, Calif. had worked with the HOA to outfit the community with CertainTeed’s Arcadia Shake, a high-grade, weather-resistant asphalt shingle designed to mimic and outperform split wood shake—the roofing material previously used on Blue Lagoon homes. Residents were thrilled with the look of Arcadia Shake, and how it held up better to the sun and salty ocean breeze than traditional wood shake. For its solar ambitions, Luke Roofing was able to present Blue Lagoon with another CertainTeed solution: Solstice rack and panel solar systems configured with domestically-produced US Series solar modules.

Warranty and aesthetics

certainteed solar solstice

US Series solar modules can be installed individually or as part of Solstice solar systems, which include racking, flashing and inverters—all backed by CertainTeed’s installation workmanship warranty of up to 25 years for CertainTeed Credentialed or Master Solar Installers. Installing CertainTeed solar and roofing products also provides the added benefit of combined warranties that cover all products on the roof.

While impressed with CertainTeed’s quality and warranty assurances, some residents expressed initial hesitation about solar due to Blue Lagoon’s luxury aesthetics, according to Blue Lagoon HOA board member Steve Brown.
“Many of the units at Blue Lagoon overlook the rooftops below, so the roof aesthetic was a big deal to us,” said Brown. “It was the most important thing for the board. For many people, these are their second homes and we didn’t want anything that detracted from the established look.”

Luke Roofing President Gary Luke was able to offer Solstice systems as ideal solutions due to their versatility, economic return on investment and strong warranty. The systems allowed Blue Lagoon to maximize roof space, while the sleek, black module design complemented the luxury look of the property.

“We added solar systems featuring CertainTeed’s 300W (US Series) modules to approximately 10 percent of the homes,” said Luke. “With the installation of solar, we anticipate the homeowners will save a lot of money on their utility bill throughout the year. Most of them will save their entire utility bill.”

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Through Luke’s Credentialed Solar Installer status with CertainTeed, his firm was able to provide extended system and installation warranty coverage. Manager of Solar Product Development and Marketing Chris Fisher, who worked with Luke Roofing on the project, said CertainTeed’s track record of stability, high-quality products and industry-leading warranties helped make the sale.

“There are several different companies that Blue Lagoon could have gone with, some of which may have been less expensive, but other companies don’t compare with our products and warranty,” said Fisher. “As a CertainTeed Credentialed Solar Installer, when Luke Roofing pulls the ladder away from the roof, the warranty on that system is now covered by us, and that’s powerful to homeowner associations as well as individual homeowners.

“Solar is still in the growth stage…a lot of companies come and go,” Fisher added. “CertainTeed provides the reputation of a secure and established major manufacturer with industry expertise and a diversified business.”

CertainTeed’s Solstice was able to match level of quality residents of Blue Lagoon Condominiums have come to expect, allowing them to maintain high standards and achieve high-efficiency energy production simultaneously. With less time spent worrying about the soundness of their decision to go solar, Blue Lagoon residents can spend more time concentrating on the excellent surf and sun.

— Solar Builder magazine

Rhode Island’s largest solar project is on the way via Southern Sky Renewable Energy, Conti Solar

Rhode Island solar project

Conti Solar, a national solar EPC, O&M and energy storage company, is providing full turnkey EPC services for the largest solar installation to date in Rhode Island. Developed by Southern Sky Renewable Energy, the 21.3-MW, Gold Meadow Farms solar project is being constructed in Cranston, Rhode Island. When completed, this solar project will generate clean solar energy for the City of Providence, significantly reduce the capital city’s energy costs and contribute to the state’s Clean Energy Portfolio.

The solar project spans over 100 acres of rugged, rocky terrain. With approximately 53,000 solar panels and 130 string inverters to be installed, the project will employ hundreds of people across the state. In addition, it will drive tens of thousands of dollars in revenue into the communities, through local businesses and taxes. The Gold Meadow Farms solar project is expected to be completed in early 2019.

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Lindsay McGovern, Vice President of Southern Sky said, “Conti Solar has collaborated with our team to rapidly resolve any challenges we face. They are resourceful and responsive. This type of reliability is an important trait for an EPC provider.”

Conti Solar is a leading solar EPC in Rhode Island and builds some of the largest and highest profile projects in the state. The Gold Meadow Farms solar project is one of over 45 MW of projects that Conti Solar is currently constructing in the ocean state. The company’s substantial track record and project experience across solar subsegments including agriculture, landfill, community solar, and large-scale projects drive reliability in efficient project completion for solar developers, utilities and independent power producers. Both Southern Sky and Conti Solar are known for their exceptional problem-solving skills and their dedication to delivering high quality solar projects.

“Southern Sky’s regional knowledge and experience is critical to the success of challenging solar installations. We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with a developer who is focused on executing projects the right way, the first time,” said Eric Millard, Chief Commercial Officer of Conti Solar.

— Solar Builder magazine

Community solar project in Tompkins County, New York, now operational

new york solar tompkins county

The largest community solar project in Tompkins County, New York, has been completed and is fully operational and ready to provide 373 households, as well as a local church, with 2.3-MW of solar. The project also complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development. The solar array includes 6,804 solar panels on 13 acres.

“We’re investing in clean and renewable energy initiatives across the state to reduce costs and protect the environment,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This solar project in Tompkins County will provide electricity to hundreds of households and continue to grow the economy of the Southern Tier region. This project is further advancing our aggressive clean energy goals to ensure a clean and safe environment for future generations.”

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Community solar projects — one of many initiatives under Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion NY-Sun program — increase access to solar in areas where residents may not own property or have ideal conditions to install solar panels by enabling them to subscribe to a local community solar project. Once households and businesses subscribe, energy is still delivered through their regular electric provider while the power produced from the community solar array is fed directly back to the electric grid. As a result, the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy and subscribers receive a credit on their electric bills. NY-Sun is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

— Solar Builder magazine

Nautilus Solar, ReneSola building a 13-MW community solar portfolio in Minnesota

Nautilus Solar

Nautilus Solar Energy has acquired a second 13.3 MW community solar portfolio developed by ReneSola that also qualifies under Xcel Energy‘s rapidly expanding community solar program in Minnesota. The portfolio is expected to be built through the remainder of 2018, coming online during Q1 2019.

Nautilus, through its full-service platform, provided early-stage development capital and will be responsible for long-term asset management services and maintenance for the projects. The projects will be owned by an affiliate of Virgo Investment Group, which is also a minority shareholder of Nautilus Solar Energy. The energy provided by the portfolio directly benefits local community off-takers located offsite by providing energy cost savings while also advancing subscriber’s sustainability goals.

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“This successful transaction further demonstrates the strong project development and subscription sales capabilities of our Minneapolis-based community solar team,” remarked Hal Galvin, General Manager, U.S. Midwest Region of ReneSola Power Holdings, the U.S. project development arm of ReneSola. “Our prior successful experience transacting with the Nautilus team gave us confidence in their transaction execution capabilities and their expertise in community solar,” added Doran Hole, CEO, North America and Group VP – Strategy of ReneSola.

“This deal exemplifies Nautilus’s commitment to working closely with our partners and becoming a leading acquirer of community solar portfolios,” said Jim Rice, CEO of Nautilus Solar. “We appreciate that Renesola trusted Nautilus to both provide them with early-stage development capital and to execute the community solar acquisition. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Renesola’s development team,” added Jeffrey Cheng, COO of Nautilus Solar.

— Solar Builder magazine