Dallas-based Principal Solar, Inc., has announced that it is developing a $173 million utility-scale operation in Hope Mills, North Carolina.
Citing 40% plus price declines in solar technologies over the past two years, this project, with a capacity of 78.5 MW AC, will be the largest solar facility east of the Rockies.
Principle Solar Inc, (PSI) acquired the right to develop the project from Innovative Solar Systems, LLC of Asheville, North Carolina. The acquisition of the project is expected to close no later than June 3, 2015, with construction to be completed in early 2016.
Total investment in the project is expected to be approximately $173 million. Duke Energy Progress (Duke merger with Progress Energy), a key player in the project, has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy energy from the project.
“This project launches Principal Solar as a leader in the solar utility sector, meeting the growing demand for zero-emission, cost efficient energy,” said Michael Gorton, chairman and CEO of PSI in the announcement on February 4.
“This high-quality project has a stable source of long-term revenue, and represents a major step forward for the U.S. solar industry. Principal Solar remains focused on rapid growth via the acquisition of shovel-ready solar projects, drawing on our industry expertise to be a long-term and repeat business partner for both solar project developers and traditional utilities.”
The company’s board of directors includes established energy and industry executives such as Brenda Jackson, former Chief Customer Officer of Oncor, and Garrett Boone, founder of the Container Store. The company’s Board of Advisors includes Hunter L. Hunt, President and CEO of Hunt Consolidated Power, and Erle Nye, former CEO of TXU.
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