Two is better than one – BayWa r.e. deliver project with local developer
Setting the scene
Delivering solar installations in the US often requires navigating multiple stakeholders and legal requirements. While challenging, our model of working in close partnership with local developers creates the ideal delivery team, allowing us to find a way when others might stumble.
We partnered with local developer, Geenex Solar, to develop Cork Oak and Sunflower. These two large solar installations generate a combined 47 MW and the clean, reliable and renewable energy they provide will benefit North Carolina for many years to come.
Despite the complex landscape of these projects, our approach led to the successful realisation of both projects, as well as the subsequent sale to PSEG Solar Source in 2017, and a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Virginia Electric and Power Co.
Meeting the challenge
Delivering large scale solar installations in the US can be a complex process, and this project was no exception. There were four main utility partners: the local grid manager, Geenex Solar, the substation owner and the transmission operator, all of whom had very specific requirements.
We overcame two significant challenges involving the PPA and the route necessary to transfer power from the solar plant to the national grid, which was inconsistent with the standard contracting process. Far from a simple fix, it required us to resolve federal interstate commerce issues.
Ultimately, the final transmission route was agreed upon by all parties through the development of positive relationships and strong negotiation tactics. Once resolved, we had to undertake network upgrades along the route, which once again called on us to work closely with our stakeholder partners.
The projects serve as a great example of how challenges are overcome when two developers work together to form a powerful delivery team. Geenex’s local political knowledge and relationships with local companies and organisations proved invaluable. Their insights paired with our project development expertise, legal and financial capabilities, allowed us to navigate the obstacles that could become barriers for other developers.
It was a pleasure to work with a top-notch organization like BayWa r.e. on these projects, which will provide North Carolina with more safe, clean and reliable energy. These are important transactions for us, as we continue to expand our solar portfolio across the country.
President of PSEG Solar Source
Getting the result
In November 2017, the two solar farms were sold to PSEG Solar Source and started generating power in December 2017.
The project illustrates what can be achieved by bringing together a large greenfield developer and a small local developer to successfully deliver a major solar installation. By working in partnership, we gain an appreciation and understanding of the local political environment to build more authentic relationships with central stakeholders, and identify meaningful ways to give back to the community.
BayWa r.e. continues to work with PSEG and is responsible for Cork Oak and Sunflower plant operations and maintenance under a 20-year contract. Our expert teams provide ongoing service provision to ensure peak efficiency and optimized yields for each plant. This includes utilisation of state-of-the-art maintenance techniques, 24/7 central monitoring, and advanced data analysis.
This was the first time we have worked with the client, PSEG and they have been a fantastic client and we look forward to continuing to grow our relationship with them over the coming years.