Let’s Celebrate BayWa r.e.’s Fern Solar Project Together
November 18, 2020
Tomorrow, LevelTen Energy will be celebrating. Every day, we pour our time and effort into making it faster, easier, and more cost-effective for corporations to purchase renewable energy, and tomorrow we’ll see the fruits of our labor. At 2:00 p.m. ET, BayWa r.e. will be hosting a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony for its Fern Solar project, which was made possible by the deals LevelTen facilitated for Starbucks and the Corporate Renewable Energy Aggregation Group, which comprises Bloomberg, Cox Enterprises, Gap Inc., Salesforce and Workday. During the virtual ceremony, LevelTen’s Vice President of Developer Relations, Rob Collier, will share insight on how the deals came together. If you’d like to attend, you can register here.
The project is proof that when corporations work together to meet their sustainability goals, everyone wins. By pooling their demand, the Aggregation Group was able to act like a single large buyer, opening up opportunities to each company that wouldn’t have been available had they done it alone. Aggregating not only gave them more choice in regards to which project they could procure from, it also enabled them to secure an economical power purchase agreement that would typically only be offered to larger buyers. The five companies procured a total of 42.5 megawatts of solar power and became the anchor tenant on the project, enabling BayWa r.e. to accelerate development.
To find a project that would meet the needs of the Group, LevelTen used its Dynamic Matching Engine, which analyzed thousands of PPA offers from nearly every renewable energy project under development in North America to find ones that would best match the projected value, risk-profile, location and size that the group was looking for. Once the Group selected the Fern Solar project, LevelTen created a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) that was nearly identical for each company, and the group hired a single, shared legal counsel to negotiate the transaction. As a result, all five VPPAs were signed nearly simultaneously. You can read more about the groundbreaking deal here. In addition to helping the Group secure VPPAs, LevelTen helped Starbucks enter into a separate VPPA for 46 MW.
The Fern Solar project, which is located in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, is the largest project built to-date by BayWa r.e. in the United States. Featuring more than 353,000 high-performance photovoltaic panels, the 133.6 MW-DC power plant will produce an estimated 238 gigawatt-hours of clean electricity annually, enough to power approximately 12,000 homes in North Carolina.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the project will have a positive impact on the community. The project created around 500 jobs, and to fill some of those positions, BayWa r.e. is partnering on a solar job training program with the Center for Energy Education (C4EE) in North Carolina. The training targets residents who are unemployed or underemployed, and needing a second chance. Graduates of the program will earn first consideration for hire at local solar project sites. The project will also generate tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes annually for Edgecombe County over the lifetime of the plant.
We look forward to celebrating the project and hope you will join us at the virtual ribbon cutting on Nov. 19 at 2:00 p.m. ET.