Leeward Renewable Energy kicks off 100MW North Carolina project

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First Solar will be providing the solar PV modules for LRE’s North Carolina plant. Image: First Solar.

Renewables developer Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) has started construction of its 100MW solar facility in North Carolina, US.

The developer will sell the electricity generated to telecommunications giant Verizon Communications under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA).

Both companies have a long withstanding partnership as they previously signed several PPA agreements earlier this year for a portfolio of solar and wind plants in the US with a combined capacity of 640MW.

Blue Ridge Power has been contracted to serve as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the “Oak Trail Solar” project, while First Solar will provide its thin-film solar modules.

The module manufacturer recently signed a supply agreement with LRE for 1GW of its thin film modules that will be deployed across its US pipeline of projects between 2023 and 2024.

Moreover, in line with its Ohio project started in August, the Oak Trail Solar will use 30% of the project’s acreage to establish a pollinator habitat, plant native vegetation and wildflowers for screening.

“Oak Trail Solar marks another milestone in the growth of LRE’s renewable energy portfolio and is an example of how we manage our projects in alignment with our core values of protecting and respecting the environment and communities in which we operate,” said Sam Mangrum, SVP of project execution at LRE.

The project brings LRE renewables portfolio of projects under construction to 880MW, with the North Carolina solar plant expected to reach commercial operation by mid-2023.

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