US ROUND-UP: DESRI breaks ground in Louisiana, SunPower’s ESG and diversity push

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How Lightsource BP expects the Bighorn solar farm to look once complete. Image: Lightsource BP.

A round-up of the latest stories from the US solar market, featuring news of D. E. Shaw breaking ground on Louisiana’s largest under-construction solar farm and a double hire from Sunpower to bolster its ESG and diversity credentials.

 

DESRI breaks ground on Louisiana’s largest under-construction PV portfolio

5 October 2020: D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) has broken ground on two solar projects in Louisiana.

The projects make up what the developer claims to be the largest portfolio of PV projects under construction in the state today, with a combined generation capacity of 70MW.

Both projects – the Iris Solar project in Washington Parish and the St. James Solar project in St. James Parish – are slated to reach commercial operation by the middle of next year.

Local utility Entergy New Orleans will procure power generated by the arrays under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

 

SunPower recruits two for ESG and diversity push

5 October 2020: California-headquartered solar firm SunPower has created two new leadership positions in a bid to bolster its ESG and diversity credentials.

Joanne Endow has been recruited as head of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), while Maribelle Bostic has been appointed as director of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). Both Endow and Bostic will work to develop the company’s sustainability and diversity targets.

“As we look to tackle the vast social and environmental challenges facing our industry and nation, deepening our leadership bench from within our company continues to be a top priority,” Tom Werner, CEO and chairman of SunPower, said.

 

Lightsource BP kickstarts Bighorn construction after closing on finance package

1 October 2020: Solar developer Lightsource BP has started construction at its 300MW Bighorn Solar project after closing on a financing package.

The project is to be developed on land belonging to the ERVAZ Rocky Mountain Steel mill in Pueblo, Colorado, and will supply power to the facility via an arrangement with Xcel Energy.

Tax equity financing for the project has been secured from Bank of America, while project debt has been provided by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Societe Generale and Export Development Canada.

Construction is expected to complete by late 2021. McCarthy Building Companies had previously been selected to provide EPC services for the project which will utilise nearly 750,000 bifacial solar panels supplied by Canadian Solar.

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