Danville Utilities, in partnership with CS Energy LLC, Navisun LLC and TurningPoint Energy, has completed a 14-MW utility-scale solar project in Danville, Virginia. The renewable energy project is the city’s largest solar development to date. The solar project is located in Pittsylvania County and is comprised of two adjoining sites: Irish Road and Whitmell. The 100-acre project will generate an estimated 23,551 megawatt hours for the community each year. The power produced by the solar array equates to approximately three percent of Danville Utilities’ yearly energy output, or enough clean energy to power 1,500 homes yearly.
The Irish Road project is Danville Utilities’ second and third solar sites. There is a fourth site currently under development as well. “Danville Utilities ratepayers will benefit long-term due to the new Whitmell and Irish Road solar projects being completed recently,” said Jason Grey, Director of Utilities for the City of Danville. “The solar farms will help reduce the City’s exposure to increasing transmission and capacity charges. These solar farms will also contribute to the City’s current renewable power supply portfolio and help us meet our long-term goal of being completely independent of fossil-fueled generation.”
Navisun LLC, a solar independent power producer, financed and owns the Irish Road solar plant and continues to expand its footprint of solar farms across the United States.
“The Danville project marked our first foray into the mid-Atlantic region,” said John Malloy, Managing Partner at Navisun. “We are pleased to be ongoing partners in providing clean renewable energy to the customers of Danville Utilities. Navisun is also proud of the partnerships formed and mutual cooperation with the City of Danville, TurningPoint Energy, and CS Energy—especially during these challenging times.”
CS Energy is an integrated energy firm that designs and builds optimized projects in the solar, storage, and emerging energy industries and provided the project’s engineering, procurement, and construction services.
“We are pleased to expand our Virginia portfolio by delivering a solar energy project that utilizes bifacial tracking technology and makes clean energy more accessible to the residents and businesses of Danville. We are proud of our successful ongoing partnerships with Navisun and TurningPoint Energy. Their ability to develop, and provide long-term ownership for projects across the United States make them leaders in the industry,” said Chris Ichter, Director of Business Development for CS Energy.
The Irish Road project was developed by TurningPoint Energy, a clean energy development company with solar projects throughout the United States. TurningPoint Energy also developed Danville Utilities’ first solar power plant, the 6 megawatt Kentucky site, and has established a long-term commitment to investing in the Danville community. This includes donations totaling more than $66,000, with $20,000 most recently donated to God’s Pit Crew, a Pittsylvania County, Virginia–based nonprofit response team that serves those in need in their community, as well as throughout the United States.
“TurningPoint Energy has delivered on our second project promise to Danville Utilities thanks to the partnership with landowners Mr. & Mrs. Oakes, Navisun, and CS Energy that came through in this most unprecedented and challenging pandemic year,” said Jared Schoch, President, TurningPoint Energy. “This is a demonstration of the resilience of the American economy and an important strategic investment by Danville Utilities with the support of Pittsylvania County and its community members.”
Construction on the project began in December 2019, and project leaders had to adapt to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Supply delays led to an adjusted project schedule, and additional procedures had to be created to ensure the health and safety of those on site. CS Energy provided masks, added handwashing stations, and minimized office capacity, and as a result, zero cases were contracted at the project site. Despite the additional coordination required to build safely, the team successfully delivered Virginia’s largest municipal utility solar farm, which went live on August 26, 2020.
The Irish Road Solar Project will provide power directly to Danville Utilities, reaching approximately 42,000 customer locations in a 500-square-mile service territory in southern Virginia.
— Solar Builder magazine