Pine Gate Renewables partnered with New Energy Capital Partners to create a $20 million fund for solar projects in North and South Carolina as well as Oregon. The project financing could support up to 200 megawatts (MWs) of utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar power, enough to keep the lights on in 32,800 homes.
“Pine Gate Renewables’ partnership with New Energy Capital positions us for development growth in key markets and enables our transition to financing, owning and operating solar assets,” says Pine Gate Renewables President Zoë Gamble Hanes.
Both companies said they want to diversify and upgrade the power grid with solar power and other renewable energy resources. They are working with local utilities and landowners to construct utility-scale solar farms that provide consumers with clean solar-generated energy alternatives at or below existing rates.
North Carolina has played a leading role in the emerging southeast solar energy market with expanding support through federal government incentives like the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). The state’s voters also are pushing for more development of solar power, according to previous Fallon Research and North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) polls. NCSEA Executive Director Ivan Urlaub said of those that “These results are consistently telling us that energy policy is important to North Carolinians. What’s more, constituents are making note of their rising electricity bills and are looking to our leaders in the state legislature to adopt commonsense changes.”
North Carolina’s pro-active use of PURPA , Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), the Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (REITC) and the second largest amount of solar power under active development have encouraged more states like South Carolina and Georgia to follow suit by expanding solar power infrastructure.
Political obstacles and compromise in the state legislature aside, South Carolina’s inclusion to the commitment of diversifying the power grid has the support of influential utilities and conservation groups. With the New Energy Capital Partners and Pine Gate Renewables partnership South Carolina can hopefully join North Carolina’s progressive approach to solar power development and the growing interest of investors in alternative energy sources in the southeastern United States.Tweet