8minute takes US pipeline to 18GW, boasts new investment

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Image: 8minute.

8minute Solar Energy has bolted a further 3GW of large-scale solar projects onto its pipeline, taking the developer’s tally to more than 18GW.

8minute also confirmed that it had sourced additional corporate-level funding to develop that pipeline further, noting that it would also help advanced the firm’s so-called “new generation” project design that incorporates battery storage.

Tom Buttgenbach, president and CEO at 8minute, said the company had spent recent months adding to the “bench strength” of its team, recruiting developers, engineers and technology innovators in a bid to improve the cost-competitiveness of its solar projects.

This has resulted in growth of its project pipeline through its key markets of California, Texas and the US Southwest.

New development capital has been raised from its JV partners including JP Morgan Asset Management and Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners, while the University of California (UC) Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents – the body responsible for management UC’s investment funds – recently joined 8minute’s stable as a “significant investor”.

That investment, 8minute said, would help “accelerate the execution” of its pipeline across California and the Southwestern United States.

While no specific details of projects were forthcoming, 8minute did stress that it was keen to replicate the model spearheaded by its Eland Solar & Storage Center in Kern County, California. Having received approval for the project last year, 8minute will combine 400MWac of solar with 300MW/1,200MWh of energy storage, providing dispatchable power at a price of under US$0.04c/kWh, the company claimed.

8minute sold the Eland project to asset manager Capital Dynamics earlier this year, however it remains an equity partner in it and has remained as its developer.

Buttgenbach said the firm would continue to collaborate with local communities across its pipeline, adding: “This strategic investment with our joint venture partners is an important part of this vision that extends beyond the funding—it’s an opportunity to align with world-class research labs and technology centers at the forefront of energy innovation.”

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