Standard Solar opens Chicago office to grow its presence in the Midwest

Standard Solar Inc., a leading solar energy company specializing in the development and financing of solar electric systems nationwide, has expanded with a new office located in downtown Chicago. The new solar project financing office supports the increasing need for turnkey solar financing in the Midwest and the demand expected as a result of the Illinois Power Agency’s Adjustable Block Program (ABP).

The new office builds upon Standard Solar’s expansion into more than six new states in 2018, including Minnesota, Colorado, California and Michigan.

Opportunity in Illinois

The ABP is an Illinois state-administered incentive program for new solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. It provides payments in exchange for 15 years of renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by new residential and small- to medium-sized commercial solar PV systems. These payments, made by Illinois utilities, vary depending on the size of the system and where it is located. Incentives are being made available through the Future Energy Jobs Act legislation that passed in late 2016 and went into effect June 1, 2017.

“The ABP has received an overwhelming response demonstrating Illinois’ growing demand for renewable energy,” explained Harry Benson, Director of Business Development for Standard Solar. “Our new Chicago office will provide quick and convenient project financing support for 500 kw and larger commercial and industrial or community solar projects in this rapidly expanding program.”

The State of Illinois specifically, and the Midwest more generally, is fully embracing the potential of Distributed Generation (DG) solar. Illinois’ immediate goal is to be delivering one million megawatt hours of DG solar RECs per year by 2020. Beyond 2020, the Illinois Commerce Commission will be required to update its plan for future RECs.

— Solar Builder magazine

Standard Solar buys 27 MW of solar projects in New York, Rhode Island from Freepoint Solar

Standard Solar signed an agreement to acquire 27 MW of distributed generation solar projects in New York and Rhode Island from Freepoint Solar LLC. Standard Solar will engineer, build, finance, own and operate all five projects which are expected to commence construction over the next six to nine months.

The three DG projects in Rhode Island, totaling approximately 13 MW, are part of the states’ Renewable Energy Growth (REG) Program. Rhode Island’s REG Program supports the development of 560 MW of new renewable energy projects in the state between 2015 and 2020 and enables customers to sell their generation output under long-term tariffs at a fixed price.

Similarly, New York state is making solar energy more accessible to homes, businesses and communities through its NY-Sun Program. Both projects purchased in New York, totaling 14 MW, are community solar projects. Community solar offers local, clean energy that can often offset a greater portion of a home, or communities’, or business’ electric bill with predictable rates and terms without having to install solar on their building.

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“These projects are part of the growing DG revolution in the United States, where solar projects interconnect into smaller voltage lines and feed directly into the local electrical system. Standard Solar is proud to be working with Freepoint Solar to build out this portfolio of DG solar projects resulting in local power for local use,” said Harry Benson, Director of Business Development for Standard Solar. “Freepoint Solar and its development partner SunEast Development LLC have done an excellent job developing these sites, and now it’s our job is to get these projects over the finish line—constructing, owning and operating them.”

The five ground-mount projects will generate revenue through taxes and local economic development for the states and local governments, and produce nearly 115 gigawatt-hours of electricity. That’s enough to power more than 3,600 homes and the equivalent of removing 26,694 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually.

— Solar Builder magazine

Standard Solar to integrate 4.2-MW solar system into Rhode Island Renewable Energy Growth Program

Standard Solar

Standard Solar reached an agreement with the Town of Burrillville, R.I., to build a 4.2-MW solar system that will be integrated into the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Growth Program (REG Program).

The ground-mount project, utilizing key town property that will produce renewable energy for the community, will contain more than 11,000 solar modules and produce 5.3 GWh of electricity. That’s the CO2 equivalent of removing 3,104,708 pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Standard Solar purchased the project from Boston-based Energy Management Inc. and will finance, own and operate the system. The project will provide electricity to the town and is expected be completed in March 2020.

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“Rhode Island is a sleeping giant with the REG Program,” said Scott Wiater, president and CEO, Standard Solar. “When Energy Management approached us with the possibility of being involved in a project in the state, we were thrilled. This project with the Town of Burrillville mirrors several we have done for other towns up and down the Eastern Seaboard, so we were excited to add it to our ever-burgeoning portfolio.”

The REG Program will support the development of 560 MW of new renewable energy projects in Rhode Island between 2015 and 2020. The REG Program is the successor program to the contract-based 40 MW Distributed Generation Standard Contracts Program (DG Program) that was in place from 2011 to 2014. Eligible technologies include wind, solar, hydropower, and anaerobic digestion. In contrast to the DG Program, small-scale solar projects can participate in the REG Program.

— Solar Builder magazine

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

Standard Solar combines six solar sites for 38-MW New York community solar project

Standard Solar

Standard Solar is building 38 megawatts (MW) of community distributed generation projects in New York through the acquisition of six projects from US Light Energy (formerly Solitude Solar), a community solar development company. The community solar projects will be constructed on land parcels totaling approximately 180 acres and will provide subscribers with the benefits of solar energy without the cost of equipment, installation and maintenance, directly contributing to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s mandate to achieve 50% of the state’s electricity from renewable energy by 2030.

The six project sites, including one re-purposed landfill, are in the towns of Hunter, Clifton Park, Turin, Croghan and Denmark. They are located in two different utility territories across three different NYISO Load Zones. The power generated by the arrays will provide cost-saving solar electricity to both residential and small commercial subscribers.

Overall, the solar farms will consist of approximately 111,765 solar panels, annually generating approximately 46,725,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. This output is sufficient to power 3,775 typical American homes for a year.


“New York has one of the most active community solar markets in the country, significantly boosted by the NY-Sun Initiative, Gov. Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the acceleration of solar in the state,” explained Scott Wiater, President & CEO, Standard Solar. “We are proud to have the unique ability to finance and construct impactful community solar projects that will bring the benefits of clean, renewable energy to even more residents in the state.”

“We are excited and grateful to be working with Standard Solar on the first of these community solar projects here in our home state of New York,” said Mark Richardson, President and CEO of US Light Energy. “Standard Solar’s financial strength, proven construction capabilities, and their position in the marketplace make them a perfect fit for us. We could not have asked for a better partner to work with on this community solar project portfolio.”

A recent report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and Vote Solar, says that 50 to 75 percent of U.S. consumers don’t have access to conventional rooftop installations. “This is what makes community solar such a great solution—anyone located in the area around one of the six projects can subscribe to the clean energy produced by the panels and get credits on their regular utility bill,” continued Wiater. “Customers don’t need to worry about installing panels on their property and all crediting is done virtually through their utility company, including a pay-as-you-go option. Unlike typical energy sources, a solar farm offers local, clean energy that offsets a customer’s electric bill with predictable rates and terms.”

With access to $500 million in low-cost project capital available from international energy giant Énergir, Standard Solar’s parent company, Standard Solar can easily remove financing barriers from projects allowing the project, and the savings that come with it to flourish.

— Solar Builder magazine