Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company LLC, a non-traded limited liability sustainable infrastructure company, has purchased a 6.5-megawatt to-be-constructed solar project from Encore Renewable Energy, a regional clean energy developer. The purchase price was not disclosed.
The South Street solar project, located in Middlebury, is Greenbacker’s largest solar asset in Vermont. Once completed, 100 percent of the clean energy will be allocated to Middlebury College, which is expected to provide roughly 30 percent of its total energy needs. The college, which reached its goal of carbon neutrality in 2016, is transitioning to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2028.
Green Mountain Power, South Street’s utility offtaker, intends to add onsite energy storage. Greenbacker noted that, “the pairing of solar plus storage can lower consumer power bills by deploying cheaper saved energy during periods of peak demand and emergencies”
Additionally, rather than installing traditional turf grass, there are plans to plant the land around the solar arrays with pasture mix for local livestock to graze and pollinator-friendly vegetation that supports native bee and butterfly populations.
The project broke ground with a ceremony in October 2021 that began with a blessing from Chief Don Stevens of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. Other speakers included Greenbacker’s chief operations officer Matt Murphy and Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy.
South Street was purchased at a pre-construction stage and is expected to reach commercial operation in the second half of 2022.
Greenbacker’s fleet of sustainable infrastructure projects comprises more than 2.2 gigawatts of generating capacity, including both South Street and assets that are to be constructed.
Since 2016, it real assets have produced approximately 3.4 million megawatt-hours of clean energy, abated 2.4 million metric tons of carbon, and supported 3,200 green jobs, Greenbacker said.
Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company acquires and manages renewable energy and other energy-related businesses, including solar and wind farms. The company seek to invest in projects that sell clean power under long-term contract to counterparties such as utilities, municipalities, and corporations.