By Kathleen Zipp
Originally published on Solar Power World
Borrego Solar Systems, a designer, developer, installer and financier of grid-tied solar photovoltaic systems (and a Solar Power World Top 400 Contractor), and sPower (Sustainable Power Group), a renewable energy provider, are commencing construction on a solar project in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York.
Upon completion, the facility, located on sPower-owned land in the Town of Riverhead, will have the capacity to produce 6.3MWac (9.1MWdc) of solar energy.
“The sPower Riverhead Solar facility has been designed to be a very clean, very safe and very quiet neighbor,” said Ryan Creamer, CEO at sPower. “We are pleased that construction has begun and are confident that together with Borrego, we’ll soon be able to start providing reliable, renewable power to PSEG-LI rate payers while creating local sustainable jobs.”
sPower has two additional projects in Suffolk County which are currently under development with Borrego Solar slated as the EPC. The projects will supply energy to PSEG-LI under the utility’s first Clean Solar Initiative Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program and will make sPower the owner of the largest portfolio of solar facilities under the program.
“These projects mark Borrego and sPower’s second portfolio under a utility FIT program—the first being an 8.3MW portfolio under Southern California Edison’s California Renewable Energy Small Tariff,” said Mike Hall, CEO at Borrego Solar. “Our partnership with sPower has been truly symbiotic. sPower is able to identify viable projects across the country early on, they have a strong balance sheet, and they’ve vertically integrated the processes of land acquisition, development, financing and long term ownership, making our experience with them not only smooth and efficient, but transparent as well. We look forward to building many more megawatts of solar capacity for them.”
When fully operational, the sPower Riverhead solar project is expected to generate enough clean solar energy to serve the electrical needs of about 1,100 homes per year, displacing roughly 8,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually — the equivalent of taking more than 1,700 cars off the road, or the same amount of carbon that would be sequestered by 6,800 acres of US forests in a year.
“Based on our track record of successfully teaming with Borrego and the support and commitment from PSEG-LI, the pieces have begun to fall into place for these projects,” said Creamer. “As a diversified EPC, Borrego is used to filling many roles, making them a reliable and knowledgeable partner.”
sPower inked a 20-year power purchase agreement with PSEG-LI at a fixed rate of $0.22/kWh. PSEG-LI voluntarily launched the FIT program to add more clean energy into their portfolio and employ local workers. PSEG-LI is also requiring interconnection at distribution levels, which will improve reliability of the utility’s electrical grid.