Given all the turmoil roiling the solar industry in 2017, casual observers might be forgiven if they think the entire solar industry was in desperate trouble, especially if they only read the popular press.
But Cypress Creek Renewables, a three-year-old California-based developer with a national portfolio, says it has slowly and steadily built a network of projects over the past 18 months that culminated in the company reaching 1 GW of installed capacity late last week.
According to the company, most of the construction came in 2017. That’s when the firm says it built 800 MW in North Carolina, South Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Vermont.
“Solar is a major driver of growth in U.S. infrastructure and employment,” said Matt McGovern, Cypress Creek’s CEO. “Cypress Creek Renewables is proud of our accomplishments and what we have built in partnership with landowners, communities, American manufacturers, investors, and utilities throughout the country.”
Though the volume of Cypress Creek’s expansion may surprise some, close industry observers have watched Cypress Creek become a significant solar developer on the national scene. A major milestone was the purchase of North California-based FLS Energy, which closed in December 2016.
By adding FLS’ extensive mid-Atlantic portfolio to its own expansoin, the company helped put itself on the path to the 1 GW mark. Shortly after the acquisition, Cypress Creek joined the Solar Energy Industries Association’s board of directors.
In July, the company made two major announcments – a 10-year agreement with SMA Americas to supply inverters for the company’s expanding portfolio, and the closing of a $450 million funding facility that helped fuel its growth in the second half of the year.
It also launched 12 solar-plus-storage projects with Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) in North Carolina, which could give it an edge as such projects become more common – and in some cases required – throughout the country.