GEORGIA SOLAR FARM COMES ONLINE TO POWER FACEBOOK DATA CENTER
• On December 12, 2019, Tennessee developer, Silicon Ranch, announced that the 102.5 megawatt (MW) Bancroft Station Solar Farm (the “Facility”) is now operational. The Southwest-Georgia Facility will supply power to the Walton Electric Membership Corporation (“Walton EMC”). The cooperative, in turn, will supply power to Facebook’s future Newton County data center (“Newton Data Center”). In November, Walton EMC announced a second agreement with Silicon Ranch for a 107-MW solar farm expected to come online in 2021 and further support the Newton Data Center.
• The Facility contains over 350,000 solar modules produced by Hanwha Q Cells (“Hanwha”), who manufactured the modules in its new Georgia factory. We previously reported on the opening of Hanwha’s factory in Volume 11 of ReNEWS Southeast.
FLORIDA MUNICIPAL POWER AGENCY ANNOUNCES PLANS TO BUILD SOLAR FARMS IN FLORIDA
• On December 12, 2019, the Florida Municipal Power Agency (“FMPA”) announced plans to build two solar facilities in Alachua and Putnam counties. The facilities are a part of Phase II of the Florida Municipal Solar Project. Phase I consisted of three 74.5 MW solar farms with 900,000 solar panels.
• FMPA will serve as the project coordinator, and 12 municipal utilities, who are member-owners of FMPA, will purchase power from the project. Origis Energy will build, own, and operate each of the 74.5 MW sites. When Phase II of the project is complete in 2023, the utilities will have a total of 372.5 MW of zero-emissions energy, enough to power 75,000 typical Florida homes.
GOVERNOR NORTHAM CALLS FOR OFFICE OF OFFSHORE WIND AND RENEWABLES FUNDING
• As part of the governor’s $733 million two-year budget proposal, Ralph Northam is calling for three large investments in clean energy. First, the governor is requesting $275,000 per year for the creation of a new “Office of Offshore Wind” to support Northam’s goal of making Virginia a leader in the emerging industry. Northam’s request also includes $40 million to upgrade the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, which the administration believes is critical to attract offshore wind manufacturing businesses. Lastly, the Northam administration proposes $10 million in financing programs that would help private citizens and local governments invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
FAIRFAX COUNTY ANNOUNCES SOLAR CONTRACT AWARDS FOR COUNTY AND SCHOOL FACILITIES
• Fairfax County announced on December 10, 2019, that it has awarded over 100 contracts to install photovoltaic arrays at 113 county government, park, and school facilities. Fairfax County touts its solar initiative as the largest such initiative undertaken to date by a Virginia municipality and has spent the last six months evaluating and negotiating proposals.
• The initiative comes under a pilot program that the Virginia State Corporation Commission established in 2013 to permit solar power purchase agreements for a total of 50 MW in Dominion Energy’s service territory. Fairfax County awarded contracts for roof-mounted, canopy, or carport-mounted installations to teams from Sigora Solar and Standard Solar, Ipsun Sun and SunLight General Capital, and Sun Tribe Solar and BrightSuite, a subsidiary of Dominion Energy.
SOUTH CAROLINA PASSES NORTH CAROLINA IN NEW SOLAR CONSTRUCTION IN Q3 2019
• According to the Q3 Solar Market Insight Report released by Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, North Carolina still has the second-highest installed solar capacity (behind only California).
• However, North Carolina came sixth among states in the number of megawatts added in Q3, and its 188 MW of new solar was behind South Carolina’s 216 MW. South Carolina is likely to be ahead of North Carolina for the year as a whole, and the report anticipates South Carolina’s pace of installation to remain above its neighbor to the north.