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Date: 27 June 2019
Renewables Alert
By: Laura B. Truesdale, William M. Keyser, Abraham F. Johns, Olivia B. Mora, Kenneth J. Gish

Three Virginia Solar Projects Permitted with More than 200 MW Capacity

  • On June 12, 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality approved and issued permits for three solar facilities across in the state, including two in Halifax County and one in Orange County. The facilities will provide the state with a combined 213 MW of power, enough to provide electricity for more than 25,000 houses. “These projects represent a new phase in energy development in Virginia,” Governor Northam stated.
  • One project is Water Strider Solar, an 80 MW facility in Halifax County being developed by Cypress Creek Renewables and backed by a 20-year power purchase agreement with Dominion Energy Virginia. Another is Powells Creek Farm Solar, a 70 MW facility in Halifax County being developed by Carolina Solar Energy. The third project is Sol Madison Solar, a 62.5 MW facility in Orange County also being developed by Cypress Creek Renewables. According to the Office of Governor Northam, these projects will “offset the generation of approximately 345,598,101 pounds of carbon dioxide, 246,587 pounds of nitrogen oxides and 283,928 pounds of sulfur dioxide otherwise produced by fossil fuel-based electricity generation.”

Landfill Solar on Jekyll Island, Georgia

  • On June 9, 2019, trade press reported that a solar facility on Jekyll Island, a large island off the coast of Georgia, is operational and running. The project converted a construction landfill into a 1 megawatt (“MW”) solar facility, expected to produce enough electricity to power more than 100 homes. Radiance Solar, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cherry Street Energy, built the $1.5 million array over four acres of state-owned land.
  • The Jekyll Island Facility is one of two former landfill sites in coastal Georgia that have been converted for use as solar farms. The 1.2 MW SeaPoint facility, located in Savannah, will come online this year. Both will sell the electricity to Georgia Power under the utility’s Renewable Energy Development Initiative.

Solar and Storage Project Complete at Parris Island, South Carolina

  • On June 19, 2019, energy efficiency and renewable energy company Ameresco announced the completion of construction of a large-scale energy resilience and energy infrastructure project. The $91 million project was constructed at the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, and is intended to provide resiliency for the facility in the event of unexpected storms or seismic conditions. The project includes around 20,000 solar modules at carport and ground-mount sites. The solar modules provide 5.5 MW of power generation, as well as over 500 actual parking spaces.
  • The project also features intelligent microgrid controls and a 4 MW/8 MWh battery energy storage system, which is intended to assist the facility in the event of a utility failure. According to Ameresco, the project will (i) save the U.S. Marine Corps $6.0 million in annual utility and operational costs, (ii) reduce utility energy demand by 75%, and (iii) reduce water consumption by 25%.

Athens, Georgia Commits to 100% Clean Energy

  • On May 21, 2019, the Athens-Clarke County Commission (Georgia) voted to adopt a 100% clean energy plan under which the County would meet 100% of its energy needs from clean and renewable energy sources by 2035.
  • The plan further calls for Athens to meet all of its transportation and other energy needs by using 100% clean and renewable energy sources by 2050. Athens intends to generate 60% of its renewable energy locally by the year 2050. In addition to Atlanta, Augusta, and Clarkston, Athens is the fourth Georgia city to make a clean energy commitment.

This publication/newsletter is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting a lawyer. Any views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the law firm's clients.

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