BlueWave raises US$91 million for new Massachusetts solar projects

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BlueWave deployed bifacial panels on single-axis trackers at its Rockport project. Image: BlueWave

US solar developer BlueWave has raised US$91 million in new funds to support five solar agrivoltaic projects in the US state of Massachusetts.

The money includes a debt raise of US$64 million, provided by US-based Keybank and a tax equity raise of US$27 million U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank.

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While the company did not specify which projects would benefit from the funding, or how this would affect the company’s total solar capacity in the region, it noted that the new funding stream will benefit from the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) programme.

This project aims to install 3.2GW of new solar capacity in the state, by offering financial incentives to new solar projects in the region that connect to grids owned by three utility companies in Massachusetts. Despite the relatively small size of the state, Massachusetts already has a thriving solar industry, with 4.2GW of capacity installed as of the first quarter of this year, 11th-most among the US states, according to the US Solar Energy Industries Association.

However, the SEIA expects the state to add just 1.6GW of new capacity over the next five years, 29th among other states, so projects such as SMART, and investments such as BlueWave’s, could be integral to delivering sustained growth in the sector.

“We’ve paired our people with leading researchers from American Farmland Trust and the University of Massachusetts on select sites, with funding from the US Department of Energy, to advance understanding and deployment of agrivoltaics,” said Mike Marsch, BlueWave’s chief development officer.

“As solar continues to scale across the country, these projects aim to set a new industry standard for responsible land use and ensure farmland is kept viable for future generations.”

BlueWave’s commitment to collaborative projects is evident in its recent work in Massachusetts, most notably its 4.2MW Rockport agrivoltaic project. The company has worked with the University of Massachusetts at the project, to draw lessons for future solar developments, and the conclusions of this work could help inform new solar projects across the state.

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