SunEnergy1, a top five U.S. solar developer that has pioneered large-scale solar power projects and institutional power purchase agreements, recently signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Fifth Third Bancorp (Fifth Third) to achieve 100 percent renewable energy through a single solar project. Fifth Third is the first Fortune 500 company, first bank, and first publicly-traded company to contract for 100 percent renewable energy through solar power. SunEnergy1 was selected by Fifth Third out of 39 competitive bids by renewable energy developers.

The VPPA will enable SunEnergy1 to construct and operate an 80-megawatt solar project–the Aulander Holloman solar facility–in Hertford County, N.C. The estimated $200 million project will employ approximately 1,000 people during construction and generate roughly 194,000 MWh/year of electricity that will avoid 144,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. Once complete, it will be one of the largest solar projects in the nation.

Under the VPPA, Fifth Third commits to buy all of the generated power and Renewable Energy Certificates from the Aulander Holloman solar facility from SunEnergy1 for a fixed price per unit of power. The power will be sold by Fifth Third into the regional electricity grid at a floating price. Each month, Fifth Third and SunEnergy1 will settle the difference between the fixed and floating prices that occurred in the previous month. The VPPA’s guarantee of a fixed purchase price enables SunEnergy1 to obtain financing for the project.

Partner Rochelle Rabeler of Holland & Hart’s electric power team represented SunEnergy1 in the VPPA transction. The electric power team leverages decades of power industry experience to help clients seize opportunities to produce, develop, generate, and move electric power in the renewable and conventional power industries.