US ROUND-UP: Hecate Energy plans New York State’s largest PV plant, Orbital Energy wins EPC contract for Arkansas project

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A solar project from Hecate in Virginia. Image: Hecate Energy.

A round-up of the latest news from the US solar market, including developments from Hecate Energy, BayWa r.e. and Orbital Solar Services.

Hecate Energy plans 500MW solar project in upstate New York

9 June 2021: US renewables developer Hecate Energy has filed plans to construct a 500MW solar project in upstate New York, representing the first application submitted under the state’s new permitting process for large-scale clean energy projects.

Set to be built in Genesee County with an investment of more than US$500 million, the Cider Solar Farm will be the largest solar project in New York State to date, Hecate said. The plant will feature trackers and supply 920,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year.

New York State last year passed the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, which is designed to “dramatically speed up the siting and construction of clean energy projects” with input from local communities. Hecate said its Cider Solar application represents an important milestone in the state’s new projects permitting progress.

The announcement comes a month after Spanish oil major Repsol acquired a 40% stake in Hecate Energy, with an option of buying the remaining shares of the company three years after the deal closes.

Orbital Energy secures EPC contract for 137MW project in Arkansas

9 June 2021: A subsidiary of Orbital Energy Group has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a 137MW solar plant in Arkansas.

Orbital Solar Services will deliver the US$64 million project in early 2022 after securing the contract from an unnamed “North American Fortune 100 energy company”.

The EPC provider said it was selected thanks in part to its track record of having carried out more than 40 solar projects with a combined capacity of over 600MW.

Earlier this year, Orbital Solar Services was named the EPC partner of The Black Sunrise Half Century Fund (BSF), a renewables investment fund backed by singer Akon that aims to convert coal-fired power plants in the US to solar farms. Over the next three years, BSF expects to build more than 1GW of solar with an initial investment of US$725 million.

BayWa r.e. partners GoodLeap for residential solar split payment financing

9 June 2021: PV component distributor BayWa r.e. has collaborated with GoodLeap to offer split payment financing for residential solar and energy storage installers in the US.

GoodLeap, a point-of-sale platform for sustainable home solutions that was rebranded from Loanpal earlier this month, will join BayWa r.e.’s Split Pay financing programme, which offers solar contractors a way to finance their equipment from a single source.

The partners said the combination of Split Pay’s process with GoodLeap’s redefined criteria for installer eligibility will lead to more opportunities for installer approvals and higher homeowner completion rates.

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