Just a day after 8minutenergy Renewables, the largest independent solar and storage developer in the United States, announced the completion and commercial operation of the 328 megawatt (MW) Mount Signal 3 Solar Farm, built in conjunction with Capital Dynamics, 8minutenergy announced an ownership transition as one of its co-founders was bought out.
Announced last week, 8minutenergy Renewables and independent global private asset management firm Capital Dynamics revealed that they had completed construction and begun commercial operation of the 328 MW Mount Signal 3 Solar Farm — the largest in the 800 MW Mount Signal solar cluster. Mount Signal 3 will provide its electricity to Southern California Edison through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement signed all the way back in 2014.
8minutenergy Renewables was the original developer of all three farms in the Mount Signal cluster, and with the first and third farms completed, the whole cluster has around 80% of its total final capacity already online — the two farms together generating 1.29 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1 million people and reduce carbon emissions by more than 850,000 metric tons each year.
“This is a big day for California and the entire solar industry,” said Tom Buttgenbach, CEO & President of 8minutenergy. “As the original developer of the Mount Signal solar cluster, 8minutenergy is incredibly proud to bring this phase of the largest solar plant in the state to completion. Mount Signal is a clear demonstration that solar is ready to power California’s 100% clean energy future ahead of schedule. The Imperial County Board of Supervisors, their staff, our dedicated partners, and the outstanding local workforce were all critical in ensuring that we beat our aggressive timeline in bringing Mount Signal 3 to completion. I’d also like to thank Capital Dynamics and Southern California Edison for being tremendous partners on this project.”
Within a day of announcing Mount Signal 3’s operation, 8minutenergy followed up by revealing that co-founder Tom Buttgenbach and the 8minutenergy management team will purchase shares owned by Martin Hermann, the other co-founder, to gain full ownership of the company. This will inevitably see Herman transitioned out of his role as CEO and shareholder, and transition Buttgenbach into a role as President and CEO.
“There has never been a more exciting time in the U.S. energy market,” said Tom Buttgenbach. “The industry’s transforming to where renewables will be the dominant form of power now that generation costs are lower than fossil fuels. This evolution will be led by large-scale solar and storage projects, and 8minutenergy will continue to be at the vanguard of the industry. I’m grateful to our incredibly talented team and to Martin for their hard work over the past nine years.”
“In the past 9 years we have worked successfully to accomplish a differentiated positioning for 8minutenergy which has allowed us to become the leading independent developer in the US,” added Martin Hermann, Founder of 8minutenergy. “I am proud that we have been able to set a number of industry-firsts, most recently with the first utility-scale power plants with bi-facial modules on single axis tracker. We have also set a number of price records for PPAs in the US, most recently with the Eagle Shadow Mountain project. I want to thank all the 8minutenergy team, our customers, suppliers, and partners who have supported 8minutenergy, and made our accomplishments to date possible. I’m excited to watch the great team at 8minutenergy with one of the largest and most competitive PV/PVS portfolios in the U.S. continue to flourish. The electricity industry is currently going through a huge transformation, which is exciting for all of us.”
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