The 4MWdc solar project will expand a soybean farm’s harvest to include clean power
PVTIME – Greenbacker Capital Management (“GCM” or “Greenbacker”), a leading renewable energy asset manager, has purchased, through an affiliated investment vehicle, a 3.9 MWdc to-be-constructed solar farm from Sun Tribe Development (“Sun Tribe”), one of the fastest growing clean energy developers in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The Wood Brothers Road Solar project is Greenbacker’s first clean energy asset in Virginia. It has a long-term power purchase agreement in place to sell energy, capacity, ancillary services, and renewable energy credits to an investment-grade utility. The acquisition contributes to Greenbacker’s strategy of owning and operating renewable energy assets that seek to provide reliable long-term revenue.
The solar project will be located on a portion of an active soybean farm in Middlesex County, where it’s slated to reach commercial operation in the first half of 2024. Along with adding solar energy to the farm’s harvest, Wood Brothers also provides supplemental income to the landowner in the form of land lease payments over the lifetime of the project.
“We’re proud to expand Greenbacker’s fleet of renewables projects into new territory with our first clean energy asset in Virginia,” said Mehul Mehta, CIO of Greenbacker. “Collaborating with Sun Tribe’s solar development experts has led to a great example of a win-win project that will deliver cheaper clean power to Virginia, while making responsible dual use of the farmland it sits on.”
The acquisition represents Greenbacker’s first clean energy collaboration with Sun Tribe, a developer with over 100 renewables projects in Virginia.
“As a Virginia-based company, the transition of the energy economy occurring in the Commonwealth is something we’re extremely proud to be a part of,” said Danny Van Clief, CEO of Sun Tribe Development. “Landowners, local governments, and energy buyers put their trust in us to help them participate meaningfully in that transition. When our work is complete and meets the standards of an elite owner-operator such as Greenbacker, we feel we’ve earned that trust.”
Virginia offers a growing market for renewable energy projects. The Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) passed in 2020 set the state on a path to more than double its solar energy capacity and mandated that Virginia’s two major regulated utilities achieve 100% clean energy by 2045 and 2050, respectively.1
1 “Virginia passes landmark solar legislation,” Solar United Neighbors, Ben Delman, March 10, 2020.