Seneca Solar is expanding its strategic partnership with Alternative Energy Development Group (AEDG) to develop more than 55 MW in solar energy projects with a total capital expenditure of $135 million.
A developer of commercial and industrial clean energy projects, AEDG was the first partner to join Seneca Solar’s Certified Partnership Program. Seneca Solar is the energy solutions division of Seneca Holdings LLC, which is wholly owned by the Seneca Nation.
Together, Seneca Solar and AEDG have been working to advance renewable energy developed and controlled by Native communities. The partnership is dedicated to reversing the extractive model of energy development on Native lands so that these communities can gain energy sovereignty through participation in the clean-energy economy.
In partnering with a Tribally owned developer of renewable energy projects, AEDG is centering its work on climate justice. The expanded partnership will fuel AEDG’s growth while building the capabilities of Seneca Solar.
As part of the expansion, Seneca Solar is partnering with AEDG to provide project management expertise, which leverages the capabilities of the $300 million business of Seneca Holdings. Kevin Ademu-John will join Seneca Solar to integrate the company’s program management expertise with AEDG’s growing portfolio. Ademu-John most recently worked at Tesla, where he managed large portfolios of residential solar projects, as well as motor and Powerwall projects.
“Our collaboration with Seneca Solar enables us to support customers in the achievement of their ESG goals while also helping underserved communities around the world gain economic self-determination,” said Chris Fraga, founder and CEO of Alternative Energy Development Group.
Seneca Solar and AEDG have collaborated since early 2022. Previous projects include conducting an extensive feasibility assessment for a Fortune 100 global company on a 10 MW solar project in Papua New Guinea. The project would be built, owned and operated by local Indigenous communities.
“AEDG has been an ideal partner for Seneca Solar as we work to support Native and other underserved communities with Earth-healing solutions,” said Jeffrey Ellis, CEO of Seneca Holdings. “Together, we are showing the mutual benefit of a more traditional company collaborating with a Tribally owned company. These new projects will enable both companies to expand our reach and impact beyond what either could do alone.”
Working closely with AEDG, Ademu-John will help manage five portfolios of distributed generation projects across multiple U.S. states:
- The largest of the portfolios comprises 32 MW in five solar projects in the Northeast. The projects will serve municipalities, low-to-moderate-income (LMI) households, and commercial offtakers.
- In California, two solar projects totaling 4.9 MW will serve industrial customers.
- Two solar projects totaling 1 MW will serve retail customers in the Mid-Atlantic region.
- A 14 MW portfolio of three solar projects will serve a major U.S. retail customer’s headquarters and distribution centers in the Mid-Atlantic and the Southwest.
- An energy-efficiency project for an agricultural customer in New England will generate energy and thermal heat, providing redundant prime power and backup power. The 4 MW project is projected to reduce the customer’s electricity costs by 20% while increasing their energy efficiency.
“I look forward to leveraging the experience I gained at Tesla to help AEDG and Seneca Solar expand their offerings,” said Ademu-John. “The partnership is combining the strong capabilities of both companies with a focus on energy equity to serve communities who have been left out of the clean-energy transition for too long.”
In addition to helping Native communities develop and benefit from renewable energy projects, Seneca Solar and AEDG are helping companies of all sizes amplify the impacts of their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) programs.
— Solar Builder magazine