Shell turns to NextEnergy Capital for US solar PPA

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Shell's solar interests in the US also include a minority stake in developer Silicon Ranch. Image: Shell.

NextEnergy Capital (NEC) has entered into two separate ten-year power purchase agreements with Shell Energy North America for the power from two US-based solar farms.

The deal will see Shell Energy North America, the US and Canada-facing utility and energy solutions arm of the oil and gas major, procure around 62GWh of solar each year – equivalent to approximately 90% of the portfolio’s output – from two solar farms with a combined generation capacity of 45MW.

Also included in the deal are an equivalent amount of Renewable Energy Certificates for five years.

The projects in question – Briel Farm and Fardy’s Mill, both located in Virginia – form part of NEC’s NextPower III fund’s portfolio, which amounts to 250MW.

Both projects are currently under construction with commissioning anticipated before the year’s end.

Lorena Ciciriello, managing director at NEC, described the execution of the contracts as a “landmark” for the institutional fund, adding that the company was delighted for the projects to support decarbonisation progress in a historically “coal-centric state” such as Virginia.

“We’re proud to be working with NextEnergy Capital to enable further development of renewable energy assets that provide the kind of energy solutions that society demands,” Glenn Wright, president at Shell Energy North America, said.

Shell Energy North America provides utilities, retailers and businesses with power, gas and other energy-related solutions, professing to have a generation capacity in excess of 10GW.

Shell’s wider interest in solar has continued to climb, driven by a now established goal to attain net zero status by 2050. That target will see it invest more significantly in solar PV and other renewables, seemingly expanding on a portfolio of clean energy investments that includes a stake in US-based developer Silicon Ranch.

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