Longroad Energy, a renewable energy developer, owner and operator, announced the financial close and start of construction by Swinerton on Little Bear Solar, comprising four separate projects totaling 215 MW in Fresno County, California.
Little Bear will sell energy and RECs to Marin Clean Energy (MCE) under 20-year busbar PPAs. The projects are expected to be completed by the end of Q4 2020. In addition to creating approximately 500 jobs during the construction of the facility, the project will contribute over $2 million in sales and property taxes.
“We are pleased to be working with MCE to deliver reliable, clean solar electricity to communities across the Bay area,” said Michael Alvarez, COO of Longroad Energy. “MCE’s customers have made the important choice to consume carbon-free electricity, and we are pleased to accommodate them via the Little Bear projects. These projects are responsibly developed, backed by long-term PPAs and powered by innovative solar technology designed in America, and are important additions to Longroad’s growing portfolio in the United States.
“We would like to thank Fresno County Department of Public Works and Planning staff for their professionalism and commitment to excellence across the board,” he added. “We consider Fresno County a partner in this project and look forward to continuing to work with County staff throughout construction and operations of the facility.”
First Solar, NEXTracker, and TMEIC are all project suppliers; Swinerton Renewable Energy is building the project under an EPC agreement. The project has an energy-only PPA with Shell Energy North America (SENA).
“We’re excited to expand our partnership with Longroad and grow solar capacity and support economic development in the Central Valley,” said Adam Altenhofen, vice president of renewable energy investments with U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the tax equity and community investment subsidiary of U.S. Bank. “Being responsible stewards of the environment is important to U.S. Bank and investing in solar is one of the key ways we can achieve that.”
Longroad’s affiliate, Longroad Energy Services, will provide construction management, asset management, operations and maintenance oversight, and remote monitoring services to both Little Bear and Prospero I over the long term.
Both projects are considered critical infrastructure and therefore not impacted by recent COVID-19 restrictions. Swinerton has put in place COVID-19 best practices at each site.